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Full text of "History of Ireland .."

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*?,£>, 




HISTORY OF IRELAND 



VOLUME III 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

University of Toronto 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofirelan03dalt 



HISTORY OF IRELAND 

FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES 
TO THE PRESEN I DA\ 

THE REV. E. A. D'ALTON 

LL.D., M.R.I.A. 



IlV THREE VOLUMES 



VOLUME III 
From 1782 to 1908 



LONDON 
THE GRESHAM PUBLISHING COMPANY 

34 SOUTHAMPTON STREET, STRAND, W.C 

1910 









1183 * 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 1 



GRATTAM'S PARLIAMENT 

What Parliament did and failed to do in 1782 

Repeal and Renunciation . 

Parliamentary Reform 

Volunteer Convention 

Flood's Reform Bill 

Other Questions in Parliament 

The Question of Tariffs 

Orde's Commercial Propositions 

Orde's Education Scheme . 

Whiteboyism 

G rattan and Tithes 

Flood and Curran . 

The Regency Question 

The Catholics 

Minor Reforms 

The Fitzwilliam Episode . 



I Ac.K 

I 



9 
1 1 
12 

*3 
14 
15 
17 
20 
21 



CHAPTER II 



THE UNITED IRISHMEN 

The Concessions of 1782 incomplete 
Peep of Day Boys and Defenders . 
Opinion in Belfast . 
Wolfe Tone 

The United Irish Society . 
The Government favours Coercion rather than Concession 

v 



24 

25 
26 
27 
28 
30 



Ill OF II-KLAND 



m of ttif l'i i«-->t-> 
100th ( ollegc founded 

len an-! 

1 he I >r!. 

men 

• -lie United ii 

1..!. 

tion 

Bg the IVopk: [< > I )etp< 

Ko Hopt from Parliament . 
I land's Enei 

Government Proclamations 
The Approach of Rebellion 



33 
33 

35 
35 
37 
38 
39 
39 
40 

41 
43 
44 
46 

46 



CHAPTER III 



THE REBELLION OF 1 798 



The "Step-ladder" 










48 


Camden's Position . 










5o 


The Informers 










51 


The United Irishmen 










54 


Lord Edward FitzGerald . 










55 


Arrests and Martial Law 










56 


Outrages by Soldiers 










57 


Flogging . 










58 


Arrest and Death of Lord Edward 










59 


The Rebellion begins 










60 


The Rebellion in Wexford . 










61 


Rebel Victories 










62 


Newtownbarry 










. 64 


Battle of New Ross 










65 


Tubberneering 










. 67 


Battle of Arklow . 










. 67 


Scullabogue and Wexford . 










. 69 


Battle of Vinegar Hill 










70 



COM I. NTS 






Outbreaks in Antrim tnd Down 
i )t tultory Fighting 

Lake's Cruelties 

( .inuicii mm i eeded by ( <>i nwallii 
The state Pi isonei i 
l [umbei t'l Invasion 

End of the Rebellion 



I A.I 

7» 
7' 

73 

75 



CHAPTER IV 



I HE UNION 



The Union under Cromwell 

Unionists after the Restoration 

Unionists in the Eighteenth Century 

A Union unpopular 

Conflicts between Irish and British Parliaments 

Pitt for a Union 

Pitt's Irish Supporters 

Cooke's Pamphlet . 

The Anti-Unionists 

The Address in 1799 

Lord Castlereagh . 

The Opposition Leaders 

Debate on the Address 

Unionists defeated 

Pitt's Speech in the British Parliament 

Foster's Speech in the Irish Parliament 

Means employed to pass the Union 

Position of Cornwallis 

The Catholics and the Union 

The Session of 1800 

Grattan's Return to Parliament 

Castlereagh introduces his Plan of Union 

Securing a Unionist Majority 

Measures of the Opposition 

Progress of the Union 

Passes both Houses 

Scotch and Irish Unions compared 

Why the Irish Union passed 



77 
77 
78 
78 

79 
80 
81 

83 
84 

85 
86 

87 
87 
88 

89 
89 
9i 
93 
94 
96 

97 
98 
100 
101 
102 
103 
103 
104 



DA 
910 

hi 

vi. 3 



Vlll 



HISTORY 01 IRELAND 



CHAPTER V 



l Ml ( \i HOI l< Q\ I iTlOM 

Unionist and Anti-Unionist Ptophc 
. I fntoni 
ttment of the Catholic 

Pitt's Duplil ity 

Pitt*! Death 

Irish Chief Secretaries 

Robert Emmet 1 ! Insurrection 

The Catholic Question in Parliament 

The " Ministry of All the Talents " 

The "No-Popery Ministry" 

The Threshers 

The Veto . 

The Catholic Leaders 

Daniel O'Connell . 

The Catholic Prospects brightening 

Peel and O'Connell 

The Veto again 

Death of Grattan . 

The Union proved a Failure 

George II. visits Ireland 

O'Connell and Sheil found the Catholic Association 

Plunkett's Catholic Relief Bill 

Strength of the Catholic Association 

Catholic Relief Bill rejected in the Lords 

The New Catholic Association 

The Catholic Question in 1 827-1 828 

The Clare Election 

Danger of Collision between Protestants and Catholics 

Catholic Relief Bill passed 



PAOI 

06 

06 
07 
09 
IO 
I 1 
12 

13 

'7 
18 

19 

19 

^9 
20 

21 

22 
22 
24 
24 

25 

27 



29 
30 
30 
31 

33 
36 
37 



CONTKNTS 



IX 



Chapter vi 

aktek EMANCIPATION 

O'Connell's Power in 1829 

False Hopes of the People. 

The O'Connell Tribute 

O'Connell agitates for Repeal 

The Whigs in Office 

O'Connell and Anglesey 

O'Connell and the Whigs . 

Tithe War 

Coercion Hill 

Stanley's National Education Scheme 

The New Chief Secretary . 

Whigs replaced by Tories . 

Death of Dr. Doyle 

John MacHale 

O'Connell's Position 

Lichfield House Compact . 

Irish Reforms 

Thomas Drummond, Irish Under-Secretary 

The Whigs replaced by Tories 



140 

141 
142 
142 

144 
144 

I4^> 

147 
148 
149 
150 

151 
151 
152 

153 

154 
155 

157 

164 



CHAPTER VII 



THE REPEAL AGITATION 



O'Connell and the Union . 

O'Connell advocates Repeal 

O'Connell's Party . 

Repeal in Parliament 

MacHale, O'Connell, and the Whigs 

The Repeal Association 

Davis, Dillon, and Duffy . 

The Nation 

Dublin Corporation and Repeal 

Progress of the Repeal Association 

The Monster Meetings 

The Clontarf Meeting 

O'Connell prosecuted 



165 
166 
168 
168 
169 
171 
172 

173 
174 

175 
176 
179 
180 



HISTORY Ol- lKKI.AND 



uncll in Pritoa 
onnel) n 
I he Repeal 

1 'oln y 

John ( » ( oomU 

1 he 

Young and < Hd Inland 



i 8 i 

182 

183 

184 
185 
186 

187 



CHAPTER VIII 



THE FAMINE 










1 Famines . . . . . . .189 


The Blight 








191 


Peel and the Famine 








193 


Repeal of the Corn Laws 








194 


Peel defeated 








*95 


Progress of the Famine 








195 


Government Measures 








196 


Young Irelanders and Repealers quarrel 








198 


The Famine in 1847 








199 


Relief from Abroad 








201 


Terrible Suffering . 








202 


O'Connell's Last Days 








204 


Death of O'Connell 








205 


Estimate of his Policy 








206 


Evictions and Emigration . 








208 


Preparations for Rebellion . 








209 


Rebellion breaks out 








210 


Wretched State of the Country 








21 1 


Demoralisation of the People 








212 



CHAPTER IX 

O'CONNELL'S SUCCESSORS 

Relations between Landlords and Tenants . 
The Landlords' Power 
Land Bills rejected 



2 14 
215 
216 



NTENTS 

The Devon ( mmm v. ion 
The ( .ic.it ( lc ii. mres 

The ELn< umbered Estates A< t 

licl.uul in 185O , 

Tenant Right Conferen< 8 

Independent ( Opposition 

Restoration of the Catholic Hierarchy in England 

The E< < lesiastical Titles Hill 

The Irish Brigade . 

William Keogh 

State of Parties in Parliament 

Treachery of Keogh and Sadleir 

Dr. Cnllen, Archbishop of Dublin . 

Last Days of Lucai 

Duffy and Moore . 

Changes of Government 

Evictions, Emigration, and Outrages 



XI 




• 1 6 




220 


22 1 


■ 


224 


2 2 4 


225 


227 




. 228 


229 


. 230 


. 232 


• 233 


• 234 


. 236 



CHAPTER X 



FENIANISM AND REFORM 



The Irish Tenants .... 






238 


The Landlords . 






. 239 


Ireland in Parliament 






242 


Parliamentary Candidates and their Promises 






242 


Lord Carlisle 






244 


The Phcenix Society 






. 244 


The Irish Republican Brotherhood 






• 245 


The Irish in America 






246 


Fenianism in Ireland 






247 


Arrest of the Leaders 






248 


Fenian Insurrection . 






248 


The Dock and the Scaffold 






249 


Mr. John Bright . 






250 


Reforms wanted — The Irish State Church . 






251 


Mr. Gladstone . 






252 


Mr. Gladstone's Church Bill 






254 


Land Bill passed . 






256 



Ml 



Hi iTORY 01 IKhLANU 



i II AIM KK XI 



1 HI. llnMI Kl I I \U >', | MKN1 









l-AI.II 


14 Rule 1 • :i< r , .257 


Mi. 1-uu .... 




257 


PpQgmi <>i the New Movement 




2 59 


Home Rule . 






259 


Glad it y Hill 






2 60 


General Election of 1^74 








Mr Btttt 4 ! Party . 






262 


No i made 






263 


i naing of ( >bstni< lion 






264 


Mr. Biggar 






2 64 


Mr. Panel] 






266 


The Obstruction Policy 






267 


I'.irnell and Butt disa^M 






269 


Death of Butt 






272 



CHAPTER XII 



THE LAND LEAGUE 



The Irish Farmer after 1870 

The Distress of 1879 

Mr. Michael Davitt 

The New Departure 

Meeting at Irishtown 

Parnell joins Davitt 

The Land League established 

Parnell and Dillon in America 

The Question of Irish Distress 

The General Election of 1880 

The New Irish Party 

The Liberal Government 

Parnell in Ireland . 

Boycotting 

Agrarian Outrages 

The Chief Secretary, Mr. Forster 



273 
273 
275 
276 
277 
278 
280 
281 
282- 
283 
284. 
285 
286 
287 
289 
289 



burster's ( ocn ion I > 1 1 1 

Glad (tone's Land Bill 
Parnellites and Liberal > 
Death »>t John Mai Hale 
Coercion In Ireland 
The Kilmainham Treaty 



CONTENTS 


XIII 








190 




. 




■ 




. 


. 


. 


. 


. 



CHAPTER XIII 



1 m. v l 'i iv » n 1 > ia 1 

Secret Societies in Dublin . 


iv 1 > ■ 1 m r. 




300 


The Phoenix Park Murdei 






300 


The Crimes Bill 






303 


Arrears Bill 






303 


The National League 






304 


Outrages in Ireland 






304 


Parnell and Forster 






306 


The Parnell Testimonial 






3°7 


Parnell's Difficulties 






307 


Parnellites and Tories 






3°9 


Lord Randolph Churchill . 






309 


Parnell's Party 






3ii 


General Gordon 




3i3 


Tories and Parnellites coalesce 




3*3 


Liberals defeated . 






314 



CHAPTER XIV 



GLADSTONE AND HOME RULE 



The New Tory Government and Ireland 

Parnell and Lord Carnarvon 

Parnell and the Liberals 

Gladstone's Position 

Parnell's Manifesto 

The General Election 

The Archbishopric of Dublin 

The Tories and Coercion . 



3*6 

317 

319 
321 

323 

323 

325 
326 






111 ro i \i> 



1 










326 


1 il oi Ml i 












. lome Rule Bill 










• 330 


l he Land Pun ha->c Hill 










332 


1 he < >|>; to Home Rule 










333 


a . 










335 


. 










336 


Mr. Bright 










337 


1 Reading Debi 










33« 


• hctc.it 










34o 



I HAl'TER XV 



I 111-. I'NIOM 1 i,uVLKNMENT 



The General Eta tion <>f 1886 
The roriee end Ireland 
'1 he Plan of Campaign 

^'nation of Lord Randolph Churchill 
The Round Table Conference 
Balfour's Coercion Bill 
Balfour's Land Bill 
The Queen's Jubilee 
The Coercion Struggle in Ireland . 
Papal Rescript condemning the Plan of Campaign 
Continued Coercion 
The Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union 
Houston and Pigott 
" Parnellism and Crime" . 
The Times Commission 
Pigott's Forgeries .... 
Findings of the Commission 
Mr. Parnell's Triumph 



341 
346 

349 
35' 
352 
352 
355 
355 
356 

359 
361 

363 

3°4 

365 
366 

367 
368 

369 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE FALL OF PARNELL 



Parnell's Character 
Parnell and the O'Sheas 



37o 
37i 



( <>NTI. 



XV 



The < >'Shca I livon r 

Parnell'i Position . 
Parnell denouni ed in England 
Parnell'i Attitude . 
Gladstone 1 ! Lottti . 
The Irish Leadership 

Pai ncll' » l'linul . and Enemies 

Committee Room Number 15 

Thi Kilkenny El* lion 

Ths Boulogne Negotiations 

Ireland in Parliament 

Mr. Parnell's Campaign 

Death oi 1'ainell . 



1 A'. a. 

373 
374 

375 
376 

377 
379 
382 

383 

3«4 

388 
389 

39i 



CHAPTER XVII 



PARNELLITES AND ANTI-PARNELLITES 



Irish Parties after Parnell's Death 

Mr. Dillon and Mr. Healy 

Balfour's Irish County Government Bill 

General Election of 1892 . 

The Second Home Rule Bill 

The Second Reading Debate 

The Bill in Committee 

Rejected in the Lords 

Mr. Gladstone retires from Public Life 

Dissension in Ireland 

Lord Rosebery, Prime Minister 

Rosebery's Attitude on Home Rule 

Irish Party Quarrels 

End of the Liberal Government 



394 
397 
401 
402 
405 
408 
412 

413 
414 

415 
416 

417 
419 

420 



CHAPTER XVIII 

YEARS OF STRIFE 



The Unionists in Office 
The Parnellites 



421 
422 



Wl 



HISTORY Of IRELAND 



Sk ting '. ' Mi Dillon tad Mr. Httly 

1 hr .1 \Ar< ttOfl 

Tbi nanihip <>f h I .m 

Mi Dillon i l kuunata 

Hon in Dublin 
Mi Dillon carrief out Iti Mitninti 
M. B Ji ind Pom bam BUI 

'1 he O^ - :.t Ml KM <>( Ireland 

1 . ! mnent At t 

Mr. llor.n e l'lunkett 

Irith Dcpartiiicnt of Agriculture 

'1 lie Liberal Leadership 

I >cath of < ,Lulstone 

l'arnelhtes and Anti-Parnellites coalesce 



I'AI.K 

422 

•1-4 
427 
429 

430 
432 
434 
436 
438 
440 
441 
442 
442 
443 



CHAl'TKK XIX 



THE NEW CENTURY 

The Boers 

The Irish favour the Boers 

The General Election of 1900 

Mr. Healy expelled from the Irish Party 

Death of the Queen 

Ireland in Parliament 

The Position in Ireland 

The Land Conference of 1902 

Mr. Wyndham 

The Land Purchase Act of 1903 . 

The Irish Leaders differ on Land Purchase 

The Reform Association 

Sir A. MacDonnell, Irish Under-Secretary 

General Election of 1906 . 

The New Government 

Mr. T. W. Russell 

Mr. Birrell, Chief Secretary 

Mr. Birrell's Difficulties 

Mr. W. F. Bailey . 

Irish Nationalists disagree . 



445 
446 

447 
447 
447 
448 
450 

451 
452 
453 
457 
458 

459 
461 
463 

463 
465 
465 
466 
467 



( ( >NTKNTS 



XVII 



Devolution — The Irish CoiIBCUl BUI 

Death of Mr. Davitt 

Ireland in 1907 

The Irish Universities Art 



469 

47' 
47» 

473 



CHAPTER XX 



LITERARY AND INDUSTRIAL MOVEMENTS 



Ireland in the Eighteenth Century 

Ireland under (i rattan's Parliament 

After the Union 

Literary Revival 

Carlcton . 

Carleton's Contemporaries 

Moore 

The Young Irelanders 

O'Connell and the Literary Revival 

After O'Connell and Davis 

Irish History and Antiquities 

The Catholic University 

Tercentenary of Trinity College 

Centenary of Maynooth College 

The Gaelic Revival 

Anglo-Irish Literary Movement 

Industrial Conditions 

Sir H. Plunkett and Dr. O'Riordan 

The Dublin "Leader" 



477 

479 
480 

481 
482 
483 
484 
485 
487 
488 
489 
492 
494 

495 
496 
501 
502 

503 

504 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE IRISH ABROAD 

Irish in America in the Eighteenth Century 
Subsequent Emigration 
Emigration to Canada 
Emigration during the Famine 
Condition of the American Irish 



506 
507 
508 
509 

5ii 



Will 



HISTORY OF IRELAND 



Irish during the ( ivil Wai 

ilattlr <<t 1 i - . ni!^ 

i the u u 

me I 860 

Distinguished Irifb-Aroeri ia • 

. to Australia 

itment of the Irish Immigrant! 
great of the Australian Irish 
h in I .rr.it Britain 
EftV Immigration 



fM.K 

512 
514 
5'5 
517 
519 
520 
521 
522 
523 
524 

525 
528 
528 



HISTORY OF IRELAND 



CHAPTER I 

Grattatts I \irliamcnt 

The year 1782 was a memorable one in Irish history. For 
the first time for centuries the Irish Parliament was a reality 
and not a shadow, a legislature with the power to legislate. 
Poyning's Act was gone, and so also was the Act " for better 
securing the dependency of Ireland upon the Crown of Great 
Britain," whereby the English Parliament asserted its right to 
legislate for Ireland, and took away the appellate jurisdiction of 
the Irish House of Lords. 1 The Irish Mutiny Act had been 
assimilated to that of England ; a Judge's Tenure Act made 
the Irish judges independent ; a Habeas Corpus Act secured a 
speedy trial for prisoners, and put an end to capricious imprison- 
ment ; Irish trade ceased to be hampered by vexatious com- 
mercial restrictions ; and there was a further and substantial 
relaxation of the penal laws. This was doing much in a short 
time, but much remained yet to do. The Catholics still 
laboured under grievous restrictions, and being excluded from 
Parliament and deprived of the Parliamentary franchise were 
placed beyond the pale of the Constitution. The farmer was 
crushed under the weight of excessive rent, and ground down 
by the extortions of the tithe-farmers. Parliament itself was 
unrepresentative and corrupt. Jobbery and peculation abounded. 

1 Plowden's Historical Review, i. 249 (copy of the Act). 
Vol. Ill 1 71 



GRATTAN'S PARLIAMENT 

the privilege o( the rich rathei than the right of all. 
Ami m all these din a wide field for the 

employment of tin* new l\ acjuii <•< 1 legislative powers. There 

Further, many inequalities of taxation, infant industries to 

be 1 and new one, to be < ailed into existence, and 

ed manufactures to be revived. Not was the Irish 
P i iment unequal to the task of righting s<> many wrongs 

a ! CUrl I ' many ills if we i <in<-mlxT the abilities of some 

of its members, Grattan and Flood, Yelverton and Bushe, Daly 

i. Poster and Fitzgibbon, and many others were not 

unworthy of the English Parliament at its best ; and Grattan's 

eloquence raised him to a level with Pitt and Fox and Burke. 

Unanimity and public spirit only were required, and had 
these I cured the progress of beneficent legislation would 

lia e been rapid. But at the very outset serious difficulties 
arose. In May 1782, in answer to the Viceroy's speech, 
Grattan, in the exuberance of his gratitude for the concession 
of legislative rights, spoke eloquently of the sincerity, the 
generosity, the magnanimity of Great Britain ; declared that 
the repeal of the Act of 1 7 1 9 was a measure of consummate 
wisdom and justice ; and that there were no longer any 
constitutional questions between the two nations. 1 Flood was 
not disposed to be so enthusiastic. Jealous of Grattan's fame, 
and not unwilling to belittle his services, he saw no reason for 
gratitude, and maintained that the simple repeal of the Act of 
1 7 1 9 effected nothing. That Act was a declaratory law, and as 
such it did not change the law r but only declared what it was ; 
it was to secure the better dependence of Ireland, showing that 
she was already dependent. A repeal of such an Act was a 
repeal of the declaration, not of the legal principle ; it was 
simply expunging the declaration of power to legislate from 
the English Statute Book ; the right to legislate was dormant, 
but might at any time be revived unless it was now formally 
renounced ; and it was a Renunciatory Act and not simple 
repeal which was required. He added, and with emphasis 
that England still claimed the power to legislate externally for 
1 Irish Parliamentary Debates, i. 356-7. 



RENUNCIATION AND REPEAL ; 

Ireland, that is, she still claimed supremacy QVtt the whole 
field of marine and eommercial legislation. 1 Flood's pow< 1 1 ol 
exposition ami reasoning were unsurpassed, and the he 

made was Undoubtedly Strong, and yet in a House Of 214 
members only two others supported his views. diattan's 
motion was passed with enthusiasm, and so angry did he feel 
that his work should be thus belittled that he mo\ed J "That 
the legislature of Ireland was independent, and that any person 
who should propagate in writing or otherwise an opinion that 
any right whatever, whether external or internal, existed in 
any other Parliament, or could be revived, was an enemy to 
both kingdoms." 8 This motion, so subversive of free speech, 
was withdrawn and a milder one passed, though the sense of 
the House evidently was that the question should not even be 
discussed. 

But if agitation of the question was thus ended in Parlia- 
ment, discussion could not so easily be stifled beyond its walls. 
In the English House of Lords, Lord Abingdon reaffirmed 
the supremacy of the British Parliament in all matters of 
external legislation, and Mr. Fox was thought to favour the 
same view. In two Acts just passed in England, Ireland was 
expressly named, and therefore included ; and appeals were 
still heard from Ireland in the English House of Lords, and in 
the English King's Bench by Lord Mansfield. 3 All these 
things generated doubts and suspicions of English good faith ; 
the alarm spread to the Volunteers, and from the Volunteers to 
the people ; Flood's views gained ground ; outside Parliament 
his popularity rapidly rose as that of Grattan rapidly declined ; 
and in 1783 the English Parliament itself took the matter in 
hands, and a Renunciation Act was passed " for removing and 
preventing all doubts which have arisen, or may arise, con- 
cerning the exclusive rights of the Parliament and Courts of 
Ireland in matters of legislation and jurisdiction, and for pre- 
venting any writ of error, or appeal, from any of His Majesty's 

1 Irish Parliamentary Debates, i. 359-71, 406-10, 421, 460-62. 

2 Irish Debates, i. 466. 
3 Grattajis Memoirs, ii. 350-55 ; Floods Memoirs, pp. 163-6. 



4 \i I \\ 

In that kingdom from beiri i ceived, heardi and 
adju in any .-t lh ourti in ( rreat Bi nam." ' 

In tli ir Rood's position among the patri 

Pari! 'in ml w 1 1 Aatlon, I Irattan bad charge <>f the 

Mutiny Bill, tion "f legi dative righ 

ton "i the "i i' • Forbes of the 

ind< I the judicature. 1 Since then the share taken 

! in the debates on renunciation and simple repeal had 

I him first In popular affection, and when a new question 

o( popular i e It was in his hands the question was 

pla< Tin Parliamentary reform. It had been taken 

up warmly by the Volunteers, first at I a. bum in July by 
delegates from forty-five companies, then at Dungannon in 
ptember by delegates from the Volunteer army of Ulster, 
after which the same question was considered at a National 
Convention at Dublin, composed of delegates from the whole 
Volunteer army of Ireland. The Convention was presided over 
by Lord Charlemont. The delegates met at first in the Royal 
Kxchange, after which they marched to the Rotunda. They were 
all Protestants, members of Parliament, peers, country gentle- 
men ; some of lesser position and perhaps of extreme views, 
but the great majority men of moderate views and substantial 
position. Among them as delegate from Derry was a 
remarkable Englishman, Lord Hervey, Bishop of Derry, an 
English nobleman and an Irish Bishop, rich, generous, eccentric, 
of somewhat volatile disposition, the friend of the Catholics, the 
foe of the corrupt oligarchy who ruled the Parliament. Fond 
of show and splendour, he passed through the streets dressed in 
purple, with diamond knee and shoe buckles, his carriage drawn 
by six horses covered with purple cloth. His escort was a 
troop of dragoons under command of his nephew, George 
Robert Fitzgerald, who by education ought to have been a 
gentleman, but who in reality was a lawless ruffian, who 
swindled and cheated and swaggered and fought duels and 
terrorized his tenants and neighbours in Mayo, and who was 

1 Plowden, ii. 20. 2 Grattarts Memoirs, ii. 345-6. 

3 Plowden, ii. 28-42. 



VOLUN n ii CONV1 m [ON 

ultimately banged at Castlebai In 1786, and ought to hi 
been banged .it ■ mm h eat liei date. 

From the chairman to tin' humblest in the 
delegate knew thai reform was urgently required. Ot the ,00 
members of Parliament, 1 24 were nominated by ^ ] peei , '/i 
others by s - commoners. There were but 6 voters In some 
boroughs, in others twice tint numb These borough 
openly sold by the landlord, a scat in Parliament <• 
.{ .'ooo, the permanent patronage <>t ;i borough bringii 
much ;»s .{.8000. With 100 members of Parliament, eithei 
pensioners or placemen, entirely dependent <>n Government, 
and with 200 members returned by little more than 100 

persons, and with the Catholics excluded both from I'iirlianr 

and from the franchise, such a legislature was a mockery 
representation.* In the Convention there was no lack of plans 
of reform, some crude, some extreme, some moderate, some 
practical. Lord Hervey strongly advocated the franchise for 

Catholics, but was strongly and successfully opposed by 
Charlemont and Flood. On that question both were narrow- 
minded and illiberal, and while willing to tolerate Catholics 
and protect their properties, they would grant them not the 
least measure of political power. 3 Under the influence of 
these two reaction and bigotry carried the day. A Reform 
Bill was agreed to, and Flood, by direction of the Convention, 
went with it straight to the House of Commons, dressed in the 
uniform of the Volunteers. His proposals were certainly not 
extreme. Only Protestants were to have votes, and even of 
Protestants only those who were resident for at least six 
months out of twelve and possessed a certain amount of free- 
hold or leasehold property ; the bounds of decayed boroughs 
were to be extended to the neighbouring districts ; pensioners 
were to be ineligible for a seat in Parliament, and placemen 
under the Crown should vacate their seats and submit to 
re-election ; and Parliament itself was to be elected triennially. 4 

1 Hardy's Charlemont, pp. 262-3 I Lecky's h'ela?id, ii. 363-70. 

2 Plowden, ii. 57-64 ; Lecky, ii. 347-8. 

3 Lecky, ii. 371. 4 Ibid. 372-3. 



6 HTA1TS i aim. i \ .!i 

Had the Iri iment been anxious for Parliamentary 

Volunteers ami the patiiut^ in Parliament 

'tally ; had the ( latholici not been excluded ; 

i, thi i measure and even a 

il i have hccn p.i ■,-.«•(!. But every one of these 

iitions u A. the mouthpiece of the English 

Ministry, the rnroenl did not want i reformed Parliament, 

but rather one dominated by pensioners and placemen, which 

irould be submissive and compliant A reformed Parliament, 

On the contrary, would be responsive to popular influences 

under Government control. Flood ought to have 

well known that such power as the borough-mongers possessed 

would not be surrendered except under pressure of some great 
national upheaval, or when the borough-mongers were menaced 
by an armed force, and yet he would rely only on Protestant 
support and fight only for Protestant rights. Even some of 
the patriot opposition had grown jealous of the power of the 
Volunteers, and resented dictation from an armed assembly, 
unmindful of the fact that it was the swords of the Volunteers 
rather than Grattan's eloquence that had won legislative inde- 
pendence. The exclusion of the Catholics from the plan of 
reform lost to the movement the impetus of national enthusiasm. 
Lastly, Grattan and Flood had become the bitterest enemies. 
The estrangement begun on the question of the Renunciation 
Act had ripened into open warfare. Grattan had voted for 
an increase in the army ; Flood had angrily opposed it, and, 
calling Grattan a mendicant patriot, was answered in a speech 
of terrible power, told to his face that he had long been silent 
and silent for money, and that he was not an honest man. 1 
In spite of these differences Grattan supported Flood's Bill, 
though not with enthusiasm ; but Yelverton, who from being 
a patriot had become a placeman, led the opposition with 
great eloquence and skill. He would have no Bill which 
originated with the Volunteer Convention ; let the Volunteers, 
whom he respected, return to their occupations, turn their 
swords into ploughshares, and leave the business of legislation 
1 Parliamentary Debates, ii. 40-43. 



FLOOD'S R] i < »k\i BILL 7 

111 those hands wheie the law had placed it. The uhole 

forces of reaction and corruption mustered to bis callj and 
by 158 to yy votes even leave i«> Introduce the Hill w\ 
refuted, 1 The Volunteer Convention was then quietly di 
solved. Charlemont's advice was then taken to hold county 

meetings and rely On speeches and resolutions and petitions, 
and the Hill was again introduced by Flood in March of tl.< 
following year. It reaehed the second reading, but M as then 
rejected by 15c) to 85 vote-.' A further motion made by 

Flood in the next year was negatived without a division ; 
and so determined was the Government's opposition that t 

Sheriff of Dublin, for presiding at a reform meeting, v 
prosecuted and fined.' It was useless to agitate the question 

further, and Flood and his friends lost courage, concluding 
that with such influences at work the reform of such a 
Parliament was but a dream. 

While the Volunteers were holding meetings and passing 
resolutions, many other matters besides Parliamentary reform 
were debated and discussed in Parliament : the violence of 
the press, the outrages done to soldiers, the character of the 
recently formed Volunteer corps, many of whom were Catholic 
and poor, the distress among the people. Grattan attacked 
the excessive expenditure in the collection of the revenue, 4 
but he also attacked the violence of the press, voted for the 
formation of a national militia, and described the Volunteers 
as having degenerated from being the armed property to being 
the armed beggary of Ireland. Much also was said on 
questions of trade and commerce, on imports and exports, 
on bounties and protective tariffs. It was widely believed 
that nothing could effectually aid struggling industries and 
relieve the distress which prevailed but the imposition of 
protecting duties; and in April 1784 Gardiner moved that 
such duties be imposed. He was opposed on the part of 
the Government by Foster, who claimed that his own corn 

1 Parliamentary Debates, ii. 226-64. 2 Ibid. iii. 43-85. 

3 Ibid. iv. 22-37, 372. 4 Ibid. ii. 213. 

5 Ibid. iv. 41. 6 Ibid. iii. 130. 



i IEN1 
I i j. i . -.1 months earlier, would in < t tin- rase. Its 

. !i!i : pi.). i bounty ol pi. on eai h barrel 

ported com until th<- price reached iftei which, 

until th<* pi ted $<>->., no import duty was put <>n 

British corn; and when tin- price went beyond \o&, no corn 

wa ..and all Imported com was to be admitted 

<lut)- free. 1 rhe ol the measure w tnsiderable. 

inds were broken up, iheep and cattle gave place 

to men, the rusty and lilent mill-wheel n I In motion, 

population rapidly increased, and Inland entered on a period 

.cultural prosperity such as ihe had never known before. 1 

But the imposition of tariffs remained .till for settlement, 

,n\d now the whole question of the commercial relations 

tween Ireland and Great Britain was taken in hand. The 

ition was peculiar. In all matters both of internal and 
ernal legislation the Irish Parliament was supreme, subject 
only to the necessity of having her Hills passed under the 
Great Seal of England Sometimes, indeed, Irish Bills when 
sent to England were not returned, and to this extent a veto 
on her legislation could be imposed; 1 but to all intents and 
purposes the power of the Irish Parliament was equal and 
co-ordinate with that of Great Britain. With such power 
Ireland might have her consuls at foreign seaports and her 
envoys in foreign capitals ; she might adopt a separate foreign 
policy and negotiate separate treaties ; she might insist on 
being friendly where England was at enmity and on being 
at enmity with England's friend ; she might refuse to follow 
England into war ; she might refuse to contribute to her 
navy ; and if she provoked hostility with some foreign power 
with whom England was at peace, who was to repel an 
invader from her soil ? who was to guard her coasts ? who 
was to defend her ships on the open sea ? These possibilities 
of misunderstanding and conflict were foreseen in 1782 by 
the Duke of Portland. He had hoped by negotiation to have 

1 Parliamentary Debates, ii. 289-90. 
2 Lecky, ii. 383-91 ; Newenham, The Population of Irelana, pp. 46-50. 

3 Lecky, ii. 335-6. 



ORDE'S < !OM MI i« I \i. ii< '!•< > 1TIO I 

the Irish admit I distinction between what was iiii|)cii.il and 

what was local, to acknowledge the supremacy o( the Briti l» 
Parliament In mattei ■ of trade and commerce, to Induce them 

in return for the protection ol their trade to contribute to the 

general support of the Empire. I ord K<>< Uirdiam's hopes and 

wishes were .nnilar. 1 Hilt (iiattan relu .ed even to negotiate 

until legislative independent e had been con* eded. 1 'I he | 
he thought, would not tolerate delay; the sympathy of ' 
English Whigs might cool; English national pride and com- 
mercial jealousy might gather strength ; the Irish patriot memb 
might be corrupted, or disagreements and weaknea ■ might i reep 
into their counsels. 1 For these reasons there was no negotiation. 

So far no Conflict between the tWO nations had arisen ; but the 
possibility of such remained, and the threat to impose protective 
duties showed that there was danger. 

In 1785 Mr, Pitt was Prime Minister of England and 

I\lr. Orde was Chief Secretary for Ireland, and between these 
two, chiefly by Pitt, a scheme was elaborated, and being 
embodied in 1 1 resolutions was introduced into the Irish 
Parliament They became known as Orde's Commercial Pro- 
positions. Based on reciprocity, they were to be a readjustment 
of the commercial relations between the two countries, their 
chief provisions being that the manufactures of each country 
were to be admitted into the other duty free, or at the same 
rate of duties if duties were imposed ; and the same provision 
held for goods imported from the colonies or from abroad, 
which merely passed through one country to the other. 
Imports from one country were to be favoured in the other 
in preference to foreign goods, and so also were the imports 
from the British colonies. The restrictions of the Navigation 
Act were to cease. Bounties on native manufactures were to 
be discouraged, and if continued in one country were to be 
met by countervailing duties in the other. Finally, when the 
hereditary revenue exceeded ^656,000, and when this sum 

1 Charlemont Papers, i. 90-92 ; Gratia?? s Me?noirs, ii. 286-94 (Letter 
from Portland to Shelburne). 

2 Gr at tan's Memoirs, ii. 277. 3 Ibid. 228-9. 



10 0| iTTKh i \i i i \mi I i 

• in tim< "i !" m e iui the cxj.cn <• . oi nment, 

surplus to ti»'* support of the British navy. 

i here were a hi» h were not so 

mil which puzzled t the metnbei Grittan 

supported the whole Flood, ho r, opposed 

m, without ho to a division, and the Pro 

therefore passed, and with such cordial goodwill 

on the part of the m ember s that ne to the amount 

>o(j u u to enable Ireland to meet 

itribution under the scheme. 1 

Introduced into the British Parliament, the Resolutions 

had a stormier pa The En lish manufacturers declared 

that it tree trade with Ireland became a reality, Irish labour, 
which was cheap, would soon flood even the English markets 
with Irish | ,, and as for the English foreign and colonial 

trade, its ruin would be certain. In deference to these com- 
plaints Pitt modified his scheme and expanded the I I 
Resolutions to 20, the new ones being much less favourable 
to Ireland than the old. Ireland was now to be cut off 
from all share in the carrying trade of the Eastern seas, 
for the monopoly of the East India Company was to be 
maintained, and the vast expanse of water extending from 
the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan would 
be interdicted to Irish ships. In the future she was to re- 
enact without change all navigation laws made by the 
British Parliament and all laws regulating foreign and colonial 
trade. Not so much perhaps for love of Ireland as to embarrass 
Mr. Pitt, Sheridan attacked the New Resolutions as a repeal 
of the Renunciation Act ; and Fox described them as bartering 
English commerce for Irish slavery. 2 But in spite of this 
opposition they passed by large majorities, and, being thrown 
into the form of a Bill, were introduced in August into the 
Irish Parliament, where they were fiercely assailed. Flood 
and Grattan acted together, and both were at their best. 
They objected to the Bill because it would shut out Ireland 

1 hish Parliamentary Debates, iv. 116-32, 172-209. 
2 Plowden, ii. 117-36 ; Lecky, ii. 448. 



( >i:m 5 i DUCA1 U W ' HI ME I I 

from the East Indian trade; it would bampei her intereou 
with the colonies and with foreign nations) it it was reel 
procity, said Flood, it was ■ one-handed reciprocity; and 
Grattan denounced it as an ati.uk on the constitution, 

"an incipient and Creeping union." I.ciw to bring in the 
Hill was carried only by 127 to 10X votes, B majority 
small .it such an rally Itage that the Hill was abandoned, 

and the last was heard of (hde's ( 'oininercial PlX>pO itions. 1 

1 .ess than two years later M r. ( )nle again tried In. hand 

at legislation. Irish education was then in a backward condi- 
tion. The Act of 1537 directing that a school should be 
established in every parish was a dead letter. The Charter 
Schools were an acknowledged failure, and so also were the 
Erasmus Smith Schools. There were no technical schools, 
and the classical schools in the various dioceses were not 
efficient. Ordc proposed a scries of resolutions covering the 
whole field of education. The Act of 1537 was to be revived 
and put in force, and in each parish a school was to be 
maintained by the Protestant minister, supported by a tax on 
the minister's income and by a tax on the richer landlords of 
the parish. The funds of the Chartered and Erasmus Smith 
Schools were to be gradually diverted to maintain four 
provincial colleges in which technical education of a higher 
kind was to be imparted. There were to be twenty-two 
diocesan colleges where classics and the sciences were to be 
taught, and, fed by these diocesan colleges, were to be two 
great academies in which exhibitions and scholarships were to 
be founded for clever boys, and through which boys were to 
pass to the university. Finally, there was to be a second 
university, somewhere in Ulster. To this latter provision 
Hely Hutchinson took exception, declaring the sufficiency of 
Trinity College ; and objection was also taken to the whole 
scheme, inasmuch as no provision was made for either Catholic 
or Presbyterian. Orde replied that they could go to all these 
schools and colleges — they were not specifically excluded ; 
but, as the teachers were to be Protestant and were to teach 
1 Debates^ v. 330-443 ; Ashbourne's Pitt, pp. 116-48. 



ii ob ii 1.1 iw i r 

i, the c on of Other | lciioininatii mis v 

sufficient!) The I' Jutiona passed in their entirety, 

l that early in the i ■ >n of 1 788 he 

would ilutioni In a Bill. But in the interval 

the Vu troy, the D Rutland, died, and was lucceeded \>y 

the M >f l'ti .mi, with whom Mr. Fitzherbert came 

iry. I h . - term of office therefoi c 

m of 1 788 had come, and his resolu - 

tiona on e on, like his resolutions on commerce and trad'-, 

er to > form. 1 

In the ttime there was a recrudescence of Whiteboyism 

in the Minister counties, and at last it became so serious that 
it attracted the attention of Parliament An English traveller 
declared in 1775 that Whiteboy outrages came from excessive 
rents and excessive tithes, and now, eleven years later, the 

ie thing was true." It was said in Parliament, both by Mr. 
Longfield and by Mr. Curran, both of whom lived in Cork, that 
in that county at least the outrages had been much exagger- 
ated ; 5 but there is no doubt that disturbances had arisen and 
that crimes had been committed ; that unlawful oaths were 
administered ; that men had been dragged from their beds and 
carded, or buried in a hole lined with thorns ; that in some 
cases men's ears had been cut off ; and that threats and 
terrorism prevailed. A Parliament in sympathy with the 
people would have traced back these outrages to their proper 
causes and done something to allay discontent. But as long 
as Parliament was dominated by the Government, and the 
Government by its chief law-officer, John Fitzgibbon, it was 
safe to say that there might be repression, but there was little 
chance of remedial laws. In 1783, Yelverton from being 
Attorney-General became Chief-Baron, and Fitzgibbon stepped 
into his place. The grandson of a peasant, his sympathies 
were entirely aristocratic ; the grandson of a Catholic, his hatred 
of Catholicity was extreme. His character, says Barrington, 

1 Parliamentary Debates, vii. 489-511 ; Seward's Collectanea Hiber?iica, 
ii. 147-56. 

2 Twiss's Tour, pp. 142-3. s Debates, vii. 23-30. 



WHITBBOYII ' | 

had no medium. A strong man, he trampled on tl 
of the highesl capacity, he despised mediocrity; tyrannical, 
arbitrary, overbearing, he scorned to conciliate or to pei made ; 
in the law courts he browbeat, he bullied, he insulted ; in 
Parliament he was insolent, sarcastic, openly and brutally 

abusive; in the councils of ( r( >\ <i ninent he was autorrati< and 

peremptory, and usually succeeded in bending others to his own 

imperious Will, Indifferent to the applause or the 

of the people, he was absolutely Without fear, championed 

freely what was unpopular, set his face like flint against all 

reform either in Church or State, took pensioners and placemen 
under his wing, defended every abuse, advocated every violence 

of authority or prerogative, embittered the masses of the people 

linst the Government, and ultimately drove them to madness 
and to rebellion. To such a man the Whitcboy outrages were 
not a reason for curbing the tithe-farmer and the rack-renter, 
but for the passing of a Coercion Act. He admitted indeed 
that the people had much reason to complain ; that in Munster, 
which he knew well, they were ground to powder by rack- 
renting landlords who exacted from their tenants as much as 
£6 an acre for their little holdings, and compelled them to 
pay rent by working for fivepence a day. 1 Yet his prescription 
for these ills was a Riot Act of savage severity, the chief 
provision of which was that if twelve or more persons assembled 
together, and being ordered by any magistrate to disperse 
failed to do so within an hour, they were each liable to the 
punishment of death. He proposed, further, that whenever 
oaths had been administered at any Catholic Church the 
building was to be levelled to the earth. Grattan described 
this clause as stabbing the criminal through the sides of his 
God, and the whole Bill as being written in blood. In deference 
to his objections Fitzgibbon omitted the clause, and limited the 
measure to three years, and with these limitations it passed in 
all its severity. 2 

With outrages of any kind Grattan had no sympathy, and 
to the greater part of Fitzgibbon's Act he offered no serious 
1 Parliame?itarv Debates, vii. 58-59, 63. - Ibid. 18 1-5. 



tion Hut it i. pom itatesmanship t«> rely altogether on 

when th ■ admitted wrong ; and In 

and tlu* tu>> followi Grattan frequently brought 

i tithe > l Pai liament I le itudied the 

matte Fully and * implete ma to oi his subject, and 

the picture he drew ol oppreasion and misery was certainly 

n of grazing lands threw t lit* whole 
bui len of tithes on the poor, titles of corn and cabbage and 
p..' .imi turf, tithes that were often greater than the rent 

On the tithe farmer and tithe-proctor h<- was specially severe. 
The form an extortioner by profession, who paid for the 

privilege of making a bad use of an unsettled claim ; the latter 

a wretch who follows his Own nature when he converts 
authority into corruption and law into peculation." 1 In some 
I i the crop was ruined waiting to be valued, in some cases 
ervalued The proctor often levied 2s. in the £ for 
proctorage, or he got free labour, and if he had a shop it was 
woe to the farmer who refused to deal with him. From the 
Bible, from the fathers of the Church, from ancient and modern 
history, sacred and profane, Grattan drew his arguments ; and 
he set them forth with such copiousness of knowledge, such 
mastery of detail, such wealth of imagery, and in such vivid 
and picturesque language, that the case he made was irresistible. 
But his labour was labour in vain. His motion for a commu- 
tation of tithes in 1787 and again in 1788 was rejected, as 
was his Bill to exempt flax and potatoes and barren lands. 2 
He also attacked the Dublin Castle Act by which police were 
substituted for watchmen, with the result that matters had 
become worse ; for under the watchmen the city had been 
robbed on cheaper terms. 3 And he supported Mr. Forbes in 
his oft-repeated attacks on the pension list. 4 

In these contests we miss the name of Flood. Since 1783 
he was a member of the English Parliament, and since 1785 
had not appeared in the Parliament at Dublin. But he made 

1 Parliamentary Debates, vii. 341, viii. 195. 

2 Ibid. viii. 192, 445-60, ix. 442-64. 3 Ibid. viii. 302. 

4 Ibid. vii. 320, viii. 68-69, 353-74- 



FLOOD AND CURRAM 15 

no great Impression In England, nothing commensurate with 
his great talents. In Grattan'i fine phrase, he was an oal «»i 
the forest transplanted .it fiftj , too <>ld, it would •.< em, to root 
Itself in 1 foreign soil ; and for the few yeai 1 until his death In 
1 pi he was often silent <»n great questions, and at no time 
played 1 distinguished part. But If Flood's voice vras iilent 
at Dublin, another one was often raised In the ranks of reform, 
and by the side of Grattan and Forbes and others no voice 
was more eloquent than that of John Philpot Curran* He was 
one of the few men who had the courage to face Fitzgibbon, 
and to face him on equal terms. He had less knowledge of 

constitutional questions than Hood, and was less effective in 

Parliamentary debate, but, unlike Flood, he was the friend and 
even the champion of the Catholics. The sustained brilliance 

of Grattan was not his, but there are passages in his speeches 
not interior to the finest of Grattan's, and it is probable that 
Grattan would have never won at the bar the position of 
Curran, who was perhaps the ablest advocate of his time. But 
neither the efforts of Forbes nor the q;enius of Grattan or 
Curran could make any impression on the corrupt ranks of 
the Government. The pension list grew until it reached the 
enormous total of ,£100,000 a year, and was, in Curran's 
words, a museum of curiosities. 1 New names were put on as 
old ones dropped off, additional offices were created, and 
peerages were openly and shamelessly sold ; 2 and if there were 
promises of retrenchment made by the Government, as some- 
times there were, these promises were not seriously given, and 
were not meant to be fulfilled. 

It was during the Viceroyalty of Buckingham, in 1789, 
that George III. became insane. As his son, the Prince of 
Wales, was of age, it was on all hands agreed that he should 
be appointed regent, with the powers of the first estate of 
the realm. The Prime Minister, Pitt, wished to proceed by 
Bill, and wished also to limit the regent's power and patronage ; 
while Fox, who was unpopular with the King but was the 
special favourite of the Prince, wished to proceed by address, 
1 Cur>-arts Speeches, pp. 59-60. 2 Seward, ii. 216, 220-21. 



\i rAM B PARI i WENT 

simply liking the Prince to take upon himself the government 

o( the kingdom during the Ki: [lln< , and unfettered by 

limitations 01 The debate! on the question In the 

h Parliament were long and able and acrimonious, and 

ultimately Pitt i unci ■ , which he pro- 

! I to embody In ■ Bill. 1 But the view-, of Fox were 

e popular In Ireland Grattan thought that to proceed by 

more In keeping with the constitution of 1782. 

His sympathies were with Pox and the Whigs on public 

questions ; he disliked Pitt, and thought that to proceed by 

Hill would \>c to take directions from England. The popular 

part)- shared his view-, ; and some of the borough-mongers, 
believing that G eo r ge III. would never recover, that Pitt would 
soon get his dismissal and Fox take his place, and that the 
Prince of Wales being regent, would be the source whence 
pensions and places would come, hastened to worship the 
rising sun. So formidable a combination was not to be 
resisted, and in spite of the threats of Buckingham and the very 
able case made by Fitzgibbon the Irish Parliament decided to 
proceed by address. The Viceroy refused to forward it, and 
delegates were sent from Parliament instead. They were 
cordially and gratefully received by the Prince ; but by that 
time the King had recovered his reason, and with it his power. 2 
Fox and his friends in England were in consequence depressed, 
as were Grattan's friends in Ireland ; while Buckingham and 
Fitzgibbon were elated, and the time had come for rewarding 
friends and for punishing those who had deserted them in their 
hour of need. The great office of Lord Chancellor, then vacant, 
was given to Fitzgibbon, who was also made a peer ; the 
placemen who had supported Grattan were dismissed ; new 
places were created and new pensions ; new peerages and 
baronetcies were conferred ; the majority of Grattan in Parlia- 
ment melted away ; and when Buckingham resigned office, in 
the end of 1789, the Government was again strong and 
corruption was triumphant and uncontrolled. 3 This was the 

1 Plowden, ii. 208-27. - Parliamentary Debates, ix. 40, 72-84. 

3 Lecky, ii. 483-5 ; Seward, ii. 213-14; Plowden, ii. 279-80. 



POSITION OF THE CATHOLK 17 

state of Ireland when, early in !/<;<», ;i HCW Viceroy, tlir Karl 

of Westmoreland, crossed from England 

During these years nothing had been done for the ( atholl 

The Catholic Association founded 1))' ("tiny, 0'( uniioi, and 
Wyse had done its best, but its best WSJ little. A purely 

Protestant Parliament thought it had been gen er ous in p 

the Aets of 1778 and 17s.! j and it is certain that the latter 

Act would have been much more liberal but for the Opposition 

of Charlemont and Flood, still more perhaps on accounl of the 

objections raised by Fitsgibbon that to repeal the Penal Code 

would be to repeal the Act of Settlement. 1 The same influei 
were at work in the years that followed, and though Grattan 
was sympathetic nothing could be done. Nor did the 
Catholics make any serious effort to assert themselves. From 
time to time they merely presented addresses of loyalty and 
congratulation, suing humbly for concessions." In the Catholic 
Committee Lord Kenmarc was one of the leaders, but he was 
spiritless and incapable ; and Dr. Troy, Archbishop of Dublin, 
another leader, was anxious above all not to irritate Dublin 
Castle, and though freely condemning the Whiteboys he had no 
words of condemnation for the tithe-farmer and the rack-renter. 3 
It seemed useless to look to Parliament for redress. The 
Whig Club, formed by Grattan and others in 1789, wanted a 
limitation of places and pensions and Parliamentary reform, 
but, chiefly owing to Charlemont, it did not put Catholic 
Emancipation on its programme. The Chief Secretary refused 
when asked to take the question into consideration ; even a 
Catholic petition would not be received in Parliament, nor a 
Catholic address at Dublin Castle. 4 

But great events were taking place on the Continent of 
Europe. The mighty upheaval called the French Revolution 
was in progress. A sorely oppressed people had at last turned 
on their oppressors. The noble's chateau and the King's 
palace were plundered with a will ; the courtly abbe, who 

1 Parliamentary Debates, i. 307. 
2 Macnevin's Pieces of Irish History, p. 18. 
3 Lecky, ii. 403-404. 4 Ibid. iii. 22-23. 

73 



\[ 1 AN I •. I I I | 

his duties and often disgraced his office, bad brought 
ruin on bli l hurch and it-> ministers; the King was made 
foi evils which be Inherited and did not create, 
and unable to remedy , and altar and throne wen; over- 

turned ( )n the mins of h<>th a French Republic bad arisen, a 
republk which d nature and reason, abolished all relit' ion. 

Ie< lared such payments as tithes Immoral, pro- 

nOUl til men to have equal rights ; and to every nation 

that was Oppressed and wished to its freedom this new 

lUbllc wa . ready to lend its aid. '1'hese novel doctrines had 
their effect in Ireland The Volunteers were still strong in 
Ulster, and they heartily approved of the French Revolution, 
and demanded Parliamentary reform and Catholic enfranchise- 
ment ; and the Society of United Irishmen, which was formed 
at Belfast in 1 79 1, aimed at bringing about these reforms by 
bringing Catholic and Presbyterian together. 1 The Catholic 
Committee, tired of presenting petitions and addresses, adopted 
so bold and manly a tone that Lord Kenmare and sixty-eight 
others who wished to be friendly with the Castle seceded from 
its ranks.- It then passed under the guidance of Mr. Keogh, a 
Dublin merchant of ability, who, despairing of the Irish Parlia- 
ment, had a deputation sent to England to lay their grievances 
at the foot of the throne. Large concessions had just been 
made to the English Catholics, and the English Ministry 
wished the Irish Parliament to be equally liberal. Even 
Burke, who hated the French Revolution with his whole soul, 
and by his writings had changed so many English reformers 
into reactionaries, favoured the cause of the Irish Catholics, and 
sent his son to Dublin to aid them. But the Irish bigots 
would not surrender a single inch of ground. Fitzgibbon in 
the Lords, and Foster, the Speaker, in the Commons were all- 
powerful, and were equally able and equally bigoted ; the 
Viceroy and the Chief Secretary became the willing tools of 
these selfish bigots, and only after the strongest pressure from 
England was an Act passed in 1792 admitting Catholics to 
the bar, legalizing marriages between Catholics and Protestants, 
1 Lecky, iii. 13-15. ■ Ibid. lyiy. 



POSITION OK TIIK ( A I IIOLH • 19 

allowing masters more than one Catholii apprentice, and 

permitting Catholic; to erect and endow Catholic School .' 
Such grudging COnccs ions were of little value, and < 

the most moderate Catholic could ndf accept them a rttle- 

ment of Catholic demands. A " Digest of the Popery laws" 
made by Mr. Hut 1cm for the United Irish Society showed that 

the Catholics were still a degraded Peeling this them* 

delves, the Catholic Committee had delegates selected from the 

different parishes in Ireland, and early in December a Catholic 
Convention commenced its sittings in Dublin. 8 The i 

called it derisively the Back Cane Parliament, and every effort 

was made tO discredit its proc e edings and to identify it with 
sedition. Fitzgibbon and Foster resumed their old tactics of 
Stirring up opposition to all concession, and at Grand Jury 
meetings had resolutions passed denouncing the Catholics and 
exciting Protestant fears. 4 And the Dublin Corporation 
declared that Protestant ascendancy must be maintained, and 
this it defined to be — "a Protestant King of Ireland, a 
Protestant Parliament, a Protestant hierarchy, Protestant 
electors and government, the benches of justice, the army, and 
the revenue, through all their branches and details, Protestant ; 
and this system supported by a connexion with the Protestant 
realm of England." 5 Neither Pitt nor Dundas, the Home 
Secretary, was unfriendly to Protestantism ; but such undiluted 
ascendancy as this could not be maintained in an age when the 
cry for equality was so much abroad. The new French 
Republic had developed unexpected strength. The cannon of 
Kellerman had hurled back the Prussians at Valmy; Dumouriez 
at Gemappes had played equal havoc with the Austrians and 
laid Belgium at the feet of France ; and soon after Louis XVI. 
was led to the guillotine, and France declared war on England. 
And meanwhile French principles were making headway in 
Ireland. The Ulster Volunteers celebrated the fall of the 
Bastile. A new armed body had arisen in Dublin — the 

1 Lecky, iii. 40-42, 54-55 ; Plowden, ii. 351-64. 

2 Macnevin, pp. 122-40. 3 Plowden, ii. 384. 
4 Ibid. 376-7. 5 Macnevin, p. 29. 



jo ITTAN'S PARI [AMENT 

National Guard* -the buttoni of their uniformi with an Irish 

harp nir mounted by .1 cap oi liberty Instead of a crown. 1 The 

Ltioni bet the United lii^h Society and the Catholic 

nmittee had become ■■<» friendly that Keogh became a 

United Irishman, while Wolfe Tone became Secretary to the 

tholic Committee ,"' and when the latter body sent delegates 

t<> London to the Kin*/ with a Catholic petition, they were 

i then way .it Belfast with enthusiasm, and had 

their i drawn through the streets amid thunders of 

applause* 1 Pitt and Dundas thought it enough to have war 

OH the Continent without also having rebellion in Ireland ; and 
Pitzgibbon and his friends were told plainly that if rebellion 
broke out the intolerant claims of Protestant ascendancy would 
not be supported by English arms. 4 And then a strange thing 
happened. The Protestants, whom the Viceroy and the Chief 
Secretary had pictured as seething with discontent, determined 
to die rather than yield, quickly gave way ; and a Bill was 
passed in February 1793 giving Catholics the Parliamentary 
and municipal franchise, and placing them in other respects on 
a level with Protestants, except that they were still excluded 
from the great offices of State and from the high judicial 
positions. 5 Fitzgibbon in the Lords made a bitter speech 
against the Bill, though he did not divide the House. He 
helped, however, to spoil the effect of the conciliatory measure 
by having an Act passed declaring the Catholic Convention 
illegal, as well as all such conventions which might be held in 
the future. 6 

Meantime the question of Parliamentary reform had been 
vehemently agitated. Grattan and the Duke of Leinster, in 
1792, had founded a new association — The Friends of the 
Constitution — which, unlike the Whig Club, favoured complete 
Catholic Emancipation as well as Parliamentary reform. 7 
Year after year, in speeches of wonderful power, Grattan 

1 Plowden, ii. 381-4. 2 Lecky, iii. 108. 

3 Plowden, ii. 388. 4 Lecky, iii. 127-9, *34- 

5 Ibid. ii. 141-2 ; Plowden, ii. 421-6 (copy of the Act). 

6 Plowden, ii. 429-30. 7 Lecky, iii. 122-3, 147-8. 



VICEROYALTY Of FITZ WILLI I 

brought the latter question before Parliament He had 

succeeded, indeed, in having an Act passed compelling 
pensioners during plea aire ,iikI a large nuinlx-r oj pla<rinrn 
tO vacate their scats when they aeeeptcd these pen, ion > 01 
An Act was also passed limiting pensions ; and the 
hereditary revenue, like all Other portions of the National 
finances, was made subject to Parliamentary control. In 
addition to these measures the poorer cabins were exempted 
from the hearth money, and the rcyjiuu dotuun was increased ; 
this latter measure, no doubt, being intended to wean the Presby- 
terian clergy from French opinions. But nothing could induce 
the majority in Parliament to abolish the rotten boroughs. 
FitSglbbon and his friends repelled with vigour every assault 
on the sacred citadel of monopoly, and though Grattan was 
supported by Ponsonby and Parsons, and with great ability, he 
was in every instance outvoted; and in the session of 1794 
Ponsonby \s Reform Bill was defeated by more than three to 
one, showing that the question had receded rather than 
advanced. 1 And meantime England was at war with France ; 
the Catholics, being still excluded from Parliament, were dis- 
satisfied ; outrages were common in Ulster ; disaffection was 
everywhere among the Ulster Presbyterians, and had already 
made some progress in the ranks of the Catholics. 

At this date an important section of the English Whigs 
went over to Pitt and were given office. The Duke of Portland 
became Home Secretary, having Irish affairs in his department, 
and Lord Fitzwilliam became Lord-Lieutenant, and came over 
in the first days of January 1795. What followed became 
afterwards the subject of much debate and has never been 
satisfactorily explained. It is certain that both Portland and 
Fitzwilliam understood the acceptance of office to mean a 
change in the policy of the Irish Government. It is certain 
that they were the special friends of Grattan and Ponsonby, 
and that these two came to London to consult with Fitzwilliam, 
urging the retirement on pension of Fitzgibbon as the first 
step towards any measure of reform. It is certain that this 
1 Parliamentary Debates, xiv. 62, 74-77, 100-104, 108. 



GRATTAN S I'AkLIAMl 



mentioned by Fitzwilliam to Pitt, and that at first be did 

not ■ ' trwardi h did* It li certain thai the 

■!i>:i Ministry d Fitzwilliam, on coming to Ireland, not 

i)j i mancipation ; but it he could not prevent 

the* qu being agitated he wai to lupport it. It is certain 

that n > mention was made of the matter In tin* ipeech with 
whi< ti Parliament was opened, but that, nevertheless, the tide of 

i high that it was useless to try and 

roll it back ; and the r efore when Grattan introduced a Hill 
into Parliament the Viceroy determined to support it. It is 

certain that he so informed his colleagues, I'itt and Portland, 
an i that neither i any objection. Then when Catholic 

pectation was at its highest they interfered, and Fitzwilliam 
was recalled. Why he was allowed to go so far and then was 
recalled has never been made clear. It may be because he 
dismissed from office a rapacious office-holder named Beresford, 
who had influence in England, and especially with Pitt. It 
may be that the great Minister was influenced by the King 
himself, to whom Fitzgibbon had already pointed out that to 
allow Catholics to sit in Parliament would be to violate his 
coronation oath. At all events, it is certain that the King 
requested Pitt to recall Fitzwilliam. It may be also that Pitt 
changed his mind, and, already meditating a union, was averse 
to Catholic concession. It is most likely that Fitzwilliam 
managed the question badly, and that had he proceeded more 
cautiously he might have succeeded. But after all this is said 
Pitt stands condemned, and the special pleading of Lord 
Rosebery on his behalf will not avail. 1 Certainly the difficulties 
did not come from the Irish Protestants. Outside of the 
corrupt junta in Parliament they were everywhere in favour of 
Catholic Emancipation, and Fitzgibbon himself admitted that 
Grattan's Bill would have been carried in Parliament." 

It was an unfortunate episode. It brought consternation 

into the Catholic ranks, and filled all with forebodings of 

coming ill. When Fitzwilliam left for England in March his 

carriage was drawn by the people to the water's edge ; the 

1 Rosebery's Pitt. 2 Plowden, ii. 466-500. 



VICEROY \i.ty OF MT/\vii.!.i.\M 23 

shops were closed as on ;i day of ; - ( • 1 1 c 1 . 1 1 mourning , i period 

of hope was over, to he BUCCOCded hy a period <>f <li(ont<nt 

and despair. 1 

1 Plowden, ii. 503 11 : Lockv, iii. 238-321: A'.hhomnr''. Pitty vi.; 
BtTisfbrd's ('orrt'sftoruit'Hit\ ii. 51, 57. Beresford app< .tl'd to An' kland, 
who appealed to I'itt on liis lx-half. 1'it/wdliam had <\\ in; > t \ him 

because lie thought thai no Viceroy <<>nid tolerate a man with inch power. 

"Mo had made a Lord Chancellor, a Lord Chief Justice, an Attorncy- 

General, a Commandei in-Chie^ and nearly s Primate/ H' was at the 
head of the revenue) the law, the army, and much of the Church. 



CHAPTER II 

The United h islnuen 

Tin-: elation produced throughout Ireland by the concession of 
legislative Independence wrai loon followed by dejection and 

ontent In the minds of large m,t,,rs of the people. The 
istitution which so often received the highest encomiums of 
ittan and his friends was, after all, but a poor copy of that 
of England. It contained, for instance, no provision by which a 
change of policy would involve a change of Government ; and it 
w.is noted by the people with displeasure that those who had 
vehemently opposed all popular concessions were continued in 
office. The unrepresentative character of the Irish Parliament 
remained, and after 1782, as before it, a few great families 
dominated both Houses, and could defeat any popular measure 
when they pleased, that is, when for selfish motives they 
coalesced. The rejection of Flood's Reform Bill disgusted the 
Protestant reformers. The insults flung at the Volunteers both 
by Parliament and Government deepened their disgust. The 
refusal to impose protective tariffs disappointed many ; and it 
was some time before the beneficial effects of Foster's corn law 
appeared, and meantime the agricultural interest complained. 
The maintenance of a bloated pension list and the continued 
creation of sinecure offices disgusted all. Dublin complained 
of inefficient watchmen, and though the police system which 
succeeded was more expensive to maintain, life and property 
were not on that account made more secure. In the years 
1783 and 1784 the worst relations existed between the 
soldiers and the citizens. The soldiers when called upon to 
suppress disturbance were unduly harsh ; the Dublin butchers 
retaliated by houghing soldiers, when a chance of doing so 
offered ; and a special Act of Parliament had to be passed 

24 



PEEP OF-DAY i:on S and DI I END1 i i -'S 

Dltking these crimes «'i capital offcnCC Dublin m<i<h.uit. 

importing English goods, and Dublin artisans vrorking for low 

wages, were somct iincs tailed and fr.ithnvd \,y thru fcllo 

and when a man guilty of Inflicting this Indignity wai l>< ;ing 
flogged through the streets, the mob violently Interfered and 

were fired On by the soldiers, cue man being killed and several 

grounded. 1 These outrages, however, were confined to Dublin, 

and SOOn disappeared, though, no doubt, nuieh of the discontent 
remained. The crimes of the WhlteboyS in Minister, two yean 
later, were also put down by the sava-;e Riot Act of PitZgibbon, 

and in the middle of I 7S7 the Duke of Rutland declared that 
all Minister was peaceable except Cork, which remained 
partially disturbed. 1 

In the meantime disturbances had arisen in Ulster. In 
1785 two Armagh Presbyterians had a quarrel, and a Catholic 
bystander took sides with one, enabling him to overcome his 
opponent The defeated party vowed vengeance against that 
Catholic and all Catholics, and was soon able to stir up his 
co-religionists against them. Religious factions were thus set in 
motion. The Presbyterians insisted in having the law enforced 
which denied a Catholic the use of arms, and banding them- 
selves together under the name of Peep-of-Day Boys, they 
appeared at break of day at the houses of the Catholics and 
forcibly took away any arms the Catholics possessed. Resent- 
ing these indignities, the Catholics joined together under the 
name of Defenders. The Volunteers, being for the most part 
Presbyterian, joined the Peep-of-Day Boys, and some newly- 
formed Volunteer corps refused to admit any Catholics into 
their ranks. Armed conflicts soon followed in which some- 
times as many as one thousand men were engaged on each 
side, and in which blood was freely shed. Gradually the area 
of conflict extended. By the year 1788 the whole county of 
Armagh was agitated by these feuds, and in the years that 
followed similar disturbances arose in the adjacent counties, 
until all Ulster was torn with strife and discord. 3 

1 Plowden, ii. 79-80 ; Lecky, ii. 392-3. 
2 Lecky, ii. 463. 3 Plowden, ii. 200-202. 



a6 mi UNITED IRI8HM] 

In the it all events, th< Dcfenderi were not the 

ind tin* obvious duty of the Government was to 
D vhilc at the same timecarryi 

out the law a^ to tl ol arms among theii opponents. Hut 

this duty was not di The Defer lers became an 

1 and oath-bound lociety, and being almost wholly 
illiterate, they w ithout intelligent leaders who might keep 

ler control. Ci to be on the defensive they 

sometimes b the a , and when two troop, ol 

^ >1 ; Mt to Armagh, In 1790, to put them down, 

y offered armed resistance, and fifty of the soldiers w< 
killed. 1 The fad was that the Irish Government did not want 
these disturbances ended, [f Catholics and Dissenters were 

united the demand for reform might become urgent, and the 
nand of a united people could not easily be denied. But 
while factions continued, a corrupt Parliament and a corrupt 
Government went on their way unchecked. As for the efforts 
at reform of the Whig Club, and of its more liberal successor 
the Friends of the Constitution, they were treated by Fitzgibbon 
and his friends with disdain. - ' 

But in 1 79 1 a Society was founded in Belfast which 
filled the Government with greater alarm. In that city 
democratic principles had long been fostered. Presbyterian 
in religion, republican in spirit, its sympathies had been with 
the revolted American colonies, and not a few from Belfast 
had fought for American freedom. In that city the first 
Volunteer Association was formed to protect the country 
against invasion, these associations being subsequently used 
to win commercial and legislative independence. Belfast had 
been urgent for Parliamentary reform, and at the Volunteer 
Convention of 1783 the Belfast delegates demanded Catholic 
Emancipation as well as Parliamentary reform. 3 Nowhere else 
had events in France been followed with keener satisfaction ; 
and in 1791 Belfast celebrated the fall of the Bastile with 
enthusiasm, with speeches and addresses and resolutions with 

1 Plowden's Historical Review, ii. 275-7. 

2 Ibid. 386-7. 3 Madden, i. 114. 



i in < m \i.D w< »i.i i 1 1 'M 27 

eulogies on Washington and Tom Paine and the R ol 

Man. 1 Since the beginning of 1790 thert v. m . ■ 1m.uk li oi 

the Whig Club In the city of winch Charlemonf and Mr. 

Robert Stewart (Lord ( \\) were membCTf J but Iti 

demand for further freedom for non-Catholics, which it would 

deny to Catholics, was fell to DC little in harmony with th< 
spirit of the time. There were many who wished to 
further, and one of tin- most respected of the dtisCTI , a 
woollen draper named Samuel Neils, m, founded a small society 
in the summer of I/Cjl which was intended to bring to 
all classes and creeds. "Our efforts lor reform," he said, 
" have been hitherto ineffective, and they deserved to be so, 
for they have been selfish and unjust, as not including the 
rights of the Catholics in the claims we put forward for 
ourselves." ' 

It was at this date that Theobald Wolfe Tone first 
appeared on the stage of Irish politics. He was then 
twenty-eight years of age, born in Dublin, educated at 
Trinity College, and called to the Bar in 1789. His talents 
were considerable. But he was lazy, and though he read 
much, he studied little ; he was restless, daring, adventurous, 
and at one time, and this after he w r as married, he had 
seriously proposed to establish a colony on one of the South 
Sea Islands, at another time to enlist as a soldier in the 
service of the East India Company. Having no taste for 
the law, he turned his attention to politics, and in 1790 wrote 
a pamphlet in defence of the Whig Club, which the Belfast 
Society so much valued that they brought out a large edition 
at their own expense. 3 Among Tone's many friends there 
was none to whom he was so much attached as Thomas 
Russell, at one time in the service of the East India Company, 
but in 1 79 1 a captain in the 64th Regiment, then stationed 
at Belfast. Like Tone, Russell was a patriot and a democrat, 
and, resigning his commission, became a member of the Whig 
Club and of the Volunteer Association. Knowing that the 

1 Lecky, iii. 9-10; Pieces of Irish History, p. 9. 
- Madden, iv. 4-5. 3 Wolfe Tone's Autobiography, i. 16-24. 



I UK I'Ml'Kl) II; IS! I Ml 
latter body (avowed the Catholitt Mid wished to pass a 

»n In thrii favour, but were unable to agree as to 
ni, he asked Tone to draw up «i suitable declaration. 

rhi was mil the only product of Tone's pen 

In 1791, for In S ep t em ber of that year he published ^i// 

|j /client in Favour of the Catho/ns of Ireland over the 

A Northern win;;." He wrote with contempt of 
the Revolution of 1783, pointing out that three-fourths of the 

►pic v. ill without a vr.ti"- of political rights, that 

thing but the strenuous efforts of the whole nation could 
purify Parliament, and that no such effort could be made 
until all lectl acted together. His arguments were put with 
such force that Dissenters and Catholics were equally impressed, 
and not less than 10,000 copies of the pamphlet were sold. 1 
By the Catholic Committee he was entertained at a public 
dinner, and in October he was invited, through Russell, to 
Belfast, and there founded the Society of United Irishmen. 
Then he returned to Dublin, where a branch of the new 
society was also formed. 

Tone himself was already convinced " that the influence 
of England was the radical vice in Irish government, and 
that Ireland would never be free, prosperous or happy until 
she was independent, and that independence was unattainable 
while the connexion with England lasted." The Whig Club 
he regarded with contempt ; the Protestants he despaired of ; 
his hope was in the Dissenters and the Catholics. 2 In founding 
the United Irish Society he stated with clearness what were 
his objects and what the means to be employed. " To sub- 
vert the tyranny of an execrable Government, to break the 
connection with England — these were my objects. To unite 
the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of past 
dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman 
in place of the denominations of Protestant and Catholic and 
Dissenter — these were my means." 3 Neilson and Russell, and 
perhaps a few others, shared his views about separation, but 

1 Lecky, iii. 10-13. 2 Tone's Autobiography, i. 26. 

3 Tone, i. 50-51. 



rm: UNITED IRISH I OCIBTV 

the Society as a body did not go 10 far. They declared in 

the first Of three resohit ioir. tliat tin weight Of Engl! h 

influence in Irish government ws 10 great that nothing hut 

a cordial union among all the peoplfl <>f Inland COIlld act 
as an effective coimtrrpoi-.e ; by the second resolution, tli.it a 
radical reform was required ; and hy the third, that no n iorm 

would he practicable which did not include Irishmen <-i evi 
religious persuasion. There is here no demand for separation. 

indeed, the great Convention at I )nm;ann< >n, in 1793, emphatic- 
ally expressed its attachment to the British connexion and 

its antipathy to a republican form of government; 1 and if 

Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation, as well as 
the abolition of tithes, had heen granted, the United Irishmen, 
with few exceptions, would have been satisfied that their work 
was done." 

Though Catholics were free to enter the new Society, it 
docs not appear that they did so in Belfast, where the 
members were usually Dissenters and of the middle class — 
clergymen, doctors, lawyers, bankers, merchants and manu- 
facturers. 3 In Dublin the chairman of the first branch 
established was the Hon. Simon Butler, a barrister and brother 
of Lord Mountgarrett ; the secretary was Napper Tandy, a 
merchant. Among the members were Hamilton Rowan, a 
man of good family and a graduate of Cambridge ; and Dr. 
Drennan, the Tyrtaeus of the Society, a poet whose verses were 
full of feeling and fire. Keogh and many of the Catholics 
also joined. 4 Outside of Dublin, however, the Catholics held 
aloof, and Neilson, in the end of 1792, complained that more 
of them had not joined in the south and west. 5 Nor did 
many of the Dissenters join outside Belfast, and the Defenders 
and Peep-of-Day Boys continued their quarrels in spite of 
the personal appeals made to both sides by Tone and Neilson 
and Keogh. 6 Yet religious animosities were being softened 
down. Neilson and his friends had established the Northern 

1 Madden, iv. 4-8, 18. 2 Pieces of Irish History, pp. 12-15. 

3 Madden, iv. 4-8. 4 Tone, i. 54-58 ; Lecky, iii. 13-15, 23, 26. 

5 Madden, iv. 96-97. 6 Tone, i. 104-106. 



l in: UNITED IRISHM1 

\r at B fast ft >r the expic,, purpose of furthering the 

inte ol the Society, and it constantly preached unity and 

I not alwayi without iuo The Protestant Tone 

the paid ><• retary of the Catholic Committee; the 

ttholic on their way to London were feted and 

i by th<- Dissenters .it Belfast; and in 1792, for the 

t time, the Dublin Volunteers, fearful of offending their 

tholk brethren, refilled to parade as usual round the statue 
of King William. 1 These were infallible signs that the people 
wei united ; and now this united people demanded 

a drastic Reform Bill, the chief features of which were single- 
member constituencies, manhood suffrage, abolition of the 
property qualification for Parliament, payment of members, 
and annual Parliaments. The Government became alarmed ; 
but its alarm increased when it was ascertained that arming 
and drilling was going on at Belfast, and that the Defenders 
were becoming a political body, demanding relief from taxes 
and rents and tithes. 3 

At no time had Grattan any sympathy with advanced 
measures of reform, and his hatred of the French Revolution 
was little less than that of Burke. He was against universal 
suffrage, against the continued existence of the Volunteers, 
against the United Irish Society, and in favour of the war with 
France, which the United Irishmen vehemently denounced. 4 
What he wanted was moderate Parliamentary reform, the 
concession of full civil rights to the Catholics, a limitation 
of pensions and places, a Parliament representing the people, 
and an executive responsible to Parliament ; and for these 
measures he pleaded, year after year, with extraordinary 
eloquence. But he was a voice crying in the wilderness. 
The Government, supported by a corrupt majority, would 
have repression rather than reform, and accordingly a pro- 
clamation was issued in 1793 against unlawful assemblies. 
Directly, it struck at newly-formed associations, but it was 

1 Tone, i. 71. 2 Lecky, iii. 105. 

3 Plowden, ii. 397 ; Lecky, iii. 196-7. 

4 Plowden, ii. 458-60; Lecky, iii. 93. 

a 



GOVERNMENT R1 PR1 SSIV1 MEASU1 }1 

much Intended against the Volunteers, ai wai alto the 
Convention Ad prohibiting public meetings ol any kind foi 

the redress of grievante', J and the ( i mi] H <u « ier Act, v.I.mIi 

prohibited the importation ol arms and gunpowder without 

a licence. 1 The army waa augmented to 20,000 men; an 
Act was also passed for the embodying <»i i',<>< militia; 
and the compulsory enlistment for the latter routed Ihe 
bitterest feelings anion;', the people. 1 About the same time 
four troops o1 dragoons entered Belfast, pulled down patriots 

emblems, and attacked all who were in the streets, w Minding 

many and terrorizing all. They were restrained from further 

aits of violence by the presence of 700 Volunteers, who 
assembled to protect the lives and properties of the citizens — 
conduct which was so resented by Government, that every 
assembly of Volunteers was henceforth declared to be unlawful 
and was to be dispersed by force. 3 Napper Tandy, for having 
adversely criticized a speech of the Solicitor- General's in 
Parliament, was declared guilty of a breach of privilege. 4 
He fled to America, however, as it was known that he had 
taken the Defender oath, and this was a treasonable offence. 
The same year Butler and Bond were fined and imprisoned 
for declaring that a Committee of the House of Lords had 
acted illegally. The next year a meeting of the United 
Irish Society was broken up and had their papers seized ; 
and Hamilton Rowan was prosecuted for seditious libel because 
he had, two years before, distributed an address of the United 
Irishmen to the Volunteers. In spite of Curran's speech in 
his defence — one of the finest ever delivered at the Bar — he 
was convicted and fined ^500, as well as sentenced to two 
years' imprisonment. He managed, however, to escape from 
prison and reached France, though a reward of £1000 was 
offered for his recapture. 5 

Nor did Fitzgibbon and his friends favour any concessions 
to the Catholics. They consented to the Act of 1793 only 

1 Plowden, ii. 427-9. 2 Lecky, iii. 216-17. 

3 Pieces of Irish History, pp. 55-59. 4 Tone, i. 54. 

5 Madden, i. 248-50, 260, 262, ii. 184-98. 



nil. i Mil l) [RISHM] 
undei pic.iu.- In>m 1'itt and 1 Juiulas ; hut at tin* same time 

they itriK the I stholi< by passing the Convention Act; 

l they pn hibited iny of thai creed from becoming officers 

in the ! -unci Militia. 1 They obstinately refused to 

all t" enter Parliament ; and it was their intrigw 

which led to the recall <>t" Lord FitzwiUiam. It is probable, 
Mi. Lecky thinks, that they hoped the con us to the 

itholics would breed dissensions be tween them and the 

1 >i and as the entrain he.enirnt oi so many forty- 

shilling freeholders would throw the r e pr ese ntation of the 

into Catholic hands, the Presbyterians on their side 
Ulld wish for the continuance of the rotten boroughs as the 
most effective counterpoise to Catholic predominance. These 
hopes were not realized, for Catholic and Dissenter remained 
united, and continued to work together for reform. But with 
the recall of Fitzwilliam and the coming over of Lord Camden 
(1795) as Viceroy, all hope of reform was over, and all thinking 
men who loved Ireland looked to the future with dread. 

In the preceding year the Catholic Bishops had sent a 
memorial to the Viceroy asking for the necessary licence to 
establish seminaries for the education of priests, the colleges 
on the Continent being no longer available owing to the 
progress of the French Revolution. Not a few of the Bishops, 
as well as Dr. Troy, were outspoken in their loyalty, 2 and the 
Government regarded the proposal with a favourable eye. By 
some, and these not unfavourable to the Catholics, it was 
suggested that Trinity College should give the necessary 
facilities ; but to this the Bishops objected that a public 
university was unsuited for the education of priests, who should 
be trained to habits of austere discipline, and were to be 
ministers of a " very ritual religion." Grattan, acting as the 
mouthpiece of some Catholics, would prefer to have Catholics 
and Protestants educated together ; 3 but this was considered 
impracticable in the case of priests. Edmond Burke, who had 
been consulted, held an opposite opinion to that of Grattan. 

1 Plowden, ii. 435. 2 Ibid. 443-5. 

3 Parliamentary Debates, xv. 201-203. 



POUNDING 01 M H ffl KM H COLLEGE |J 

To educate priests at Trinity College, he thought, would I" - 
absurd ; and he warned the Bishops also nol to have clerical 
education under Government control, .md above all not undei 

the control of such men as Kitzgibbon. In London ti < 

interests of the Bishops were looked alter by tin- ( haplain at 

the Spanish Embassy, Dr. Ilnssey, an Irish priest <>t great 

ability, the friend of Dr. Johnson, the \n\ Special friend of 

Burke; and it was in letters to Ilnssey that Burke gave 
expression to his views. Dr. Hussey was able also to obtain 

the support of the Duke of Portland; and when Fit/u illiain 
was CORling to In-kind he was instructed to have piovision 
made for the education of the Catholic parochial clergy. His 
early and unexpected recall prevented him from giving legisla- 
tive effect to these instructions, but the Bill for founding a 
Catholic College was drafted when he left Ireland. It was 
introduced under Lord Camden and soon passed into law. 1 
In its final shape the measure provided for separate Catholic 
teaching, and for supervision by a Board of Trustees, among 
whom were Fitzgibbon and three other Protestants. All the 
others, seventeen in number, were Catholics, and of these ten 
were Bishops. A sum of ^8000 was voted for building and 
initial equipment, and a site was obtained from the Duke of 
Leinster at Maynooth, a most unfortunate selection when more 
healthy sites could have been obtained. Buildings were then 
erected, Dr. Hussey became President, professors were ap- 
pointed, students went into residence, and a college which has 
become one of the greatest Catholic colleges in the world was 
started on its way.' 2 

It was part of Camden's instructions to make some provision 
for the Catholic parochial clergy, and to put the lower order of 
Catholics on a level with those of other persuasions in the 
matter of primary education. But he was either unable or 
unwilling to attend to these questions, and in his time nothing 
was done. To Catholic Emancipation he was instructed to 

1 Parliamentary Debate 's, xv. 404. 

2 Plowden, ii. 447-8 ; Healy's History of Maynooth College, pp. 99.127 
163-4. 

Vol. Ill 73 



l in i Ml ED [RISHMl \ 

ind he arai al 10 to stir up an anti- 
( it!i< > , and I i Irish party of resistance. 1 

That be had no difficulty In doin ; this In Parliament was soon 
manifi In the debate! on Grattan'i Catholi* Relief Bill. 

B rmption were all on one side; on 

• patriotism and statesmanship ; and tin hes 

i and I'ti ."i!., of Kii<>\ and Arthur O'Connor, were 

marked by it eloquence and power. Th ■••ntlemen 

ild point to the fact that the Catholics from every city and 

.- in Ireland had petitioned for the measure ; that the 

ts had not petitioned against it; and Grattan was 

able- to say with truth that, except from the corporation of 
Dublin, not a single protest had come from city or county, 
from grand jury or corporation. In solemn tones Parsons 
warned the House of the danger of first exciting hopes and 
then, violently and without reason, dashing these hopes to the 
ground ; and Knox told the Government that the choice was, 
either to pass the Bill or to re-enact the penal laws and risk a 
rebellion In 1794 Pitt and Dundas declared that they were 
not going to risk a rebellion on so small a question, but in 
1795 they had changed their minds. 3 The servile majority in 
Parliament who were ready to support Fitzwilliam were now 
ready to follow Camden in the opposite direction, and the Bill 
was thrown out by 1 5 5 votes to 84/ When Fitzwilliam left 
Ireland he was mourned as a friend, but when Camden came 
he was hailed as an enemy. The day of his arrival he was 
hissed through the streets, the military had to be called out as 
riots were feared, the houses of Fitzgibbon and the Speaker 
were attacked, and the former as he passed through the streets 
was struck with a stone. 5 Popular feeling became still more 
embittered when Fitzgibbon was advanced in the peerage, with 
the title of Earl of Clare ; and when the Catholic Relief Bill 
was rejected, the Catholics turned away with disgust from the 
doors of Parliament. To that assembly it was useless to 

1 Lecky, iii. 328. 

2 Parliamentary Debates, xv. 28-57, 255-6, 338. 

3 Plowden, ii. 471. 4 Debates, xv. 361. 5 Plowden, ii. 531-2. 



DKIKNDMk OUTRAG 35 

make further appeal* Manyol them at once joined the United 

[rishmen, dlsarTeCtlon rapidly spread, and in sn id vxiVl 
and in violence that redress w i ; ■_ 1 1 1 u hi< h Constitutional 

effort alone should have obtained. 

The Defenders became <• ,| >e< 1,1 ll\ aetive. From Armagh 
they had now extended to the other counties of Ulster to 
Mcath, Westineath and Kildaie in I.einstei ; and in ( "onnaii" I 1 

they were numerous and aggressive. Like the Whiteboyj they 

aimed at lowering rents and tithes and raising the wages of 

labourers, and they sought to effect their objects by secret 
Organization and crime. They compelled servants to quit the 
Service of masters who were obnoxious, intimidated magistrates, 
witnesses and jurors, endeavoured to seduce the Militia from 
their allegiance, houghed cattle, burned houses, made midnight 
raids for arms, compelled smiths to make pikes and spears. 
In one case they openly attacked a party of soldiers, but were 
driven off with the loss of fifty of their number. 1 Placed in 
command of the military in Connaught, Lord Carhampton 
undertook to put down outrages, and under his directions iooo 
persons were taken up and sent to the fleet. They had not 
been convicted of any crime. Some of them were in prison 
awaiting trial, some had neither been imprisoned nor accused. 
Loudly asserting their innocence, they begged hard for a trial, 
but they begged in vain. On mere suspicion of being 
Defenders they were torn from their families, and amid pro- 
testations and entreaties and the wailing of women they 
were forcibly sent on board ship. By these illegal measures 
Carhampton struck terror, but he also generated discontent 
and bitterness which long endured. 2 

In Armagh the Defenders and Peep-of-Day Boys continued 
quarrelling, and in September 1795 they fought a pitched 
battle at a place called The Diamond, in which the Defenders 
were beaten with heavy loss. The victors then formed them- 
selves into a new association called the Orange Society, which 
rapidly spread throughout Ulster, absorbing all that was 

1 Parliamentary Debates, xvi. 43, 49, 102-9. 
2 Lecky, ii. 419-20. 



Tin t Ml i D IRI8HM] N 

Intolenuit and even lanatfc among the Protestant and Presby- 
terian Inhabitant Th«- memor) ol William of Orange they 
with ipecia] reverence. On the other hand, they 
ttholics with ii abhorrence, and seem to 

have taken an oath to exterminate those In their midst. 1 They 
ipelled masters to dismiss Catholic servants, landlords to 
evict Catholic tenants, burned the houses of Catholics, destroyed 

their property, In many C8 riftced their livt They 

ted up notices warning the Catholics to leave the province 
by I <ci tain date — to go to Hell or Connaught. In this way 
the Armagh weaver was driven from his loom and the farmer 
hum his land, and to such an extent that from that one 
county more than 700 families were sent adrift. Some went 
to Connaught, all were houseless and homeless, nor had they 
been guilty of any crime except to have professed the Catholic 
faith. Grattan in Parliament denounced these Orange outrages 
and the magistrates who stood idly by while inoffensive 
Catholics were being robbed and driven from their homes, and 
sometimes murdered by lawless band^. But the Castle party 
would do nothing. In the Orangemen they recognized the anti- 
Catholic faction which Camden had been directed to encourage, 
and such a faction they would not restrain, still less would 
they compensate the Catholics who had been despoiled. On 
the other hand, an Act of Indemnity was passed in the session 
of 1796, which indemnified Carhampton and the magistrates 
who had acted under him for their illegal acts against the 
Catholic peasants of Connaught. In the same session an 
Insurrection Act was passed, giving magistrates power to 
declare any district disturbed, and as such placing it under 
martial law. Magistrates might also search for arms at any 
hour, day or night ; they might send before the judge of assize 
any one found out after dark, and the judge might send him 
to the fleet ; and the magistrates might also search houses at 
night and send those who were absent from home without 
cause to the fleet. 2 



1 Plowden, ii. 536-7. 
Parliamentary Debates, xvi. 103-7. 



THE UNITED IRISHMEN 

One effect of these measure thai the United Irishmen 

rapidly increased In numbers, Many of 1 1 ^ < - Catholics Joined 
after the recall of Fitzwilliam, many In consequence oi the 
severities of Carhampton, many more after the passage «>i the 

Insurrection and indemnity Acts, hut most of all because of 

the Orange outrages; and it was noted that in Catholic 
counties, whenever an Orange lodge was set up, the Catholics 

hastened to join the United Irishmen. From Parliament they 

had nothing to expect but repressive laws, from the Orangemen 

nothing but robbery and murder, and hence they sought the 
protection of a powerful organization. By the end of 1796, if 
the Peep-of-Day Boys had been turned into Orangemen, the 
Defenders had become United Irishmen, and to such an extent 
that long before the Rebellion broke out the United Irish 
Society had 500,000 men enrolled. 1 Its meetings having been 
broken up in 1794, it was organized early in the following year 
as a secret society, its declared object being " a full represent- 
ation of all the people of Ireland." This was an elastic 
phrase which did not exclude Parliamentary action, but which 
was soon understood by the vast majority of members to 
contemplate a revolution and a republic. The civil organiza- 
tion of the society was made up of a number of committees, the 
baronial committees being composed of delegates from the 
various societies, the county committees of delegates from the 
baronial committees, the provincial committees of delegates 
from the county committees, and the national committee of 
delegates from the provincial bodies. The military organiza- 
tion was on similar lines. The secretary of each society of 
twelve members was appointed a non-commissioned officer ; 
the members of baronial committees, each delegated from five 
societies, was a captain ; the delegates from baronial com- 
mittees to the county committees were colonels ; all officers 
above that rank were appointed by the National Directory. 
Both the civil and military organizations were perfected by the 
end of 1796, and by that time Arthur O'Connor, Macnevin 
and Addis Emmet had joined the society and held prominent 
1 Pieces of Irish History, pp. 178, 181. 



III! I Mil 1) IKIMIMI 

, as did also tli "t the Duke of Leimter, Lord 

! 1 1 Fitz( rei aid. 1 

i i<- h.i.i left Ireland In the previous ytn The French 
Go> had lent In 1794, an agent to England and 

1 (land, t rtain If 1 party could be found In either or both 

couri to t.ivDiu 1 French invasion. This agent wb 

Protestant clergyman, the Rev. William Ja< kson, an Englishman 
Irish d I who had lived for iome years in Paris, where 
he had imbibed revolutionary principles and formed friendly 

relations with the revolution, iry authoni Arrived in 

1. mdon, he foolishly Confided in an old friend of 1; olicitor 

naine 1 Cockayne, who at oik c gave secret information to Mr. 
Pitt The latter bade ( Ockayne accompany Jackson to Ireland, 
to watch his movements and obtain incriminating evidence 

inst him. These orders were faithfully carried out. 
Jackson was arrested and charged with high treason, and on 
the evidence of Cockayne, who turned informer, he was found 
guilty and sentenced to death in April 1795. He managed, 
however, to get some poison and took it, and while await- 
ing sentence in the dock he fell dead." Tone had met with 
Jackson and Cockayne, and had been asked by Jackson to go 
on a mission to France from the United Irishmen. He was, 
however, wary and suspicious, and refused, though he drew up 
a paper describing the various parties in Ireland, and dwelt on 
the likelihood of a French invading force getting support. In 
all this there was not sufficient material to send him like 
Jackson to the dock and to the scaffold. But he had been 
treading on dangerous ground, and having become a marked 
man he resolved, if he could do so, to leave the country. 
Through the influence of powerful friends, he was allowed 
by the Government to leave for America, and leaving Ireland 
in June, arrived at Philadelphia in August. 

Before leaving Dublin his friends Addis Emmet and Russell 
urged him to seek for French aid for Ireland ; and at Belfast, 

1 Parliamentary Debates, xvii. 519-20 ; Lecky, iii. 486-7 ; Moore's Life 
of Lord Edward FitzGerald '; Report of Secret Committee of House of 
Commons. 2 Tone, i. 203-9. 



HOCHE'S i i i I'll i« M 

on the Cave 1 1 ill outside the city, he and Russell, with Neilson 
.mhI MacCracken, all prominent United irishmen, iwore d< 

to desist in their efforts until they had tubverted English 
authority in Ireland. 1 Hamilton Rowan and Mapper Tandy, 

whom he met in America, lull\' shaicd the-.e view,; and lone, 

with letters of introduction from the French consul at Phil- 
adelphia, set sail from Sand)- I look on the ISl oi January i; 
and reached Paris in February. In the French capital In- had 
many interviews with the Foreign Minister De la Croix, with 

Carnot, and with Genera] Hoche, and greatly impres ed thi m 

with his ability and sincerity. Ultimately he was assured that 
an expedition would he sent to Ireland ; preparations were at 
once made ; and finally, after delays which to Tone seemed 
interminable, the expedition was ready to set sail from Bre t 
on the i 5th of December. Hoche was general-in-chief, Grouchy 
second in command, Hardy and Humbert were among the 
generals. Tone himself was chefdt brigade. The whole force, 
borne in 43 vessels, was 15,000; arms, ammunition, heavy 
guns were in abundance ; the soldiers had seen service and 
might be relied on ; and as for Hoche, his talents were scarcely 
inferior to those of Bonaparte. If such a force under such a 
commander could have landed in Ireland it would have spelled 
ruin for British domination. 

Though an English squadron was outside the harbour, 
engaged in the work of observation, the expedition never 
encountered an English vessel. 2 In this it was fortunate, but 
in every other respect it had ill-luck. In passing out to sea 
through the narrow channel called the Raz, one vessel struck a 
rock and went down with all hands. A dense fog was 
succeeded by a dead calm, during which the sails flapped 
lazily and no progress was made. In the fog the Admiral's 
vessel with Hoche on board became separated from her consorts 
and never reached Ireland, but returned to France. The same 
fate befell a few of the other vessels. Most of the scattered 
vessels, however, got into touch with the main body, and by 
the 20th thirty-five out of forty-three were at Bantry Bay. If 

1 Tone, ii. 212-14. 2 Parliamentary Debates, xvii. 264. 



40 l in i Mil i. 1 1 i HMI 

I had i he would h I once landed! and the 

u i*ii i iim. Hut the Admiral'i vessel with Hocl 

and meantime the wind rose* For 1 1 1« - next 

i>--> it i i violent itorm, blowing directly from the 

i 1 1 .1 the vessel* then oul tide the harbour, 

<-ii these lattei i ould not attempt a 
landing In ' : i of such ■ gale; and th<- former, unable to 

maintain then position, wtrt compelled to put to The 

rem. limn.; hi I 6500 men on ho.ud, Including Grouchy, 
an 1 that Gen <i, to th at joy of Tone, determined to land. 
Hut the huy of th Ic increased ; the .hips d l their 

uid were tOSSed about like cockle-shells; no com 

mu 'i t possible between them, for no imall boat could 

pi IU Ii I .e.i, and ii" spoken word could be heard above 
the howling ot the tempest Admiral Bouvet refused to obey 

Grouchy, saying that a landing was impossible, and to the 

of Tone the vessels cut their cables and stood out to sea. 
In tWOS and threes they made their way to France. By the 
4th of January the last of them had disappeared from the Irish 
coasts, and by the 1 ith Grouchy \s vessel entered the harbour 
of Rochelle. Once again the winds had taken sides with 
England, and had helped her as effectually as when they 
scattered the ships of the Armada. 1 

But France would be sure to make a further effort. She 
had become a great power. The whole left bank of the 
Rhine from Basle to the sea was hers ; Belgium, Nice and 
Savoy were in her hands ; Spain and Holland were her allies ; 
Italy had been overrun by her armies ; the Pope was humbled ; 
Prussia had ceased to be her enemy ; Austria trembled and 
was willing to make peace with her. England alone remained 
and so far had proved to be invincible on the sea. But the 
strain was terrible. The ports of Europe were closed against 
her ships, her debt was going up by millions, her public 

1 Tone, ii. 153-78; Lecky, iii. 527-39; Guillon, La France et 
V Irlande pendant la Revolutions pp. 223-5, 251-4. Grouchy has been often 
blamed for failing to land, but it is Bouvet and not he that deserves 
blame. 



I V.I. AND S I'll I l« I I.I II I ' 

falling, the Bank o( England obliged to u pend 
payment. She too wai anxioui foi peace; but evidently h' - 

had asked too mile h ol I'l.nnr in a. Lin;; I i«-i t ( > p.ive uj) 

Belgium, and In consequence negotiation* were ipeedlly ended, 

and Lord Mahncslniry, ho amha . .adoi , was ordered to quit 

Prance within forty eight bom •. The wur t then, arai to con 
tinue, and any moment a new French expedition might i>< 

sent tO Ireland. Was it wise to keep Iiel.nid divided and 

disturbed ? In Ulster the Orangemen continued their i 
asperating tactics ; and some yeomanry regiments lately rai 

were but Orangemen with arms in their hands, in receipt of 
Government pay. They were often as violent and as lawk 
as the Orangemen, and as little under control. The United 
Irish Society, on the other hand, had spread throughout the 

province, meeting violence with violence, and over large areas 
robberies and murders and midnight raids were common. 1 The 
state of Minister was very different. Sir Laurence Parsons 
narrated in Parliament how he had seen the Catholic peasants 
give every aid to the military when they were marching 
towards Bantry to encounter Hochc's troops. They had 
cleaned the roads for them, given them horses and carts for 
transport purposes, shared their provisions with the soldiers, 
and prayed for their success. 2 Tone complained that the Irish 
priests hated the very name of the French Revolution, 3 and 
evidently their influence was strong in Minister. To confirm 
all such as these in their loyalty and to win back the disloyal 
in Ulster, Grattan thought was still possible, by the concession 
of Catholic Emancipation and even a moderate Parliamentary 
reform. These views were thought to have found favour in 
high quarters, and a report was current that Camden was to be 
recalled and that the Prince of Wales himself was to come 
over as a messenger of peace ; and had this been true how 
much evil would have been avoided and how much good 
done ! 4 

But it was not to be. Camden, who was firmly opposed 

1 Parliamentary Debates, xvii. 148-9, 164. 2 Ibid. 275. 

3 Tone, i. 300. 4 Plowden, ii. 589-90; Lecky, iv. 146-7. 



111! I Ml I 1) II I II Ml \ 

incd in office. So also was Fits- 

>bon, a ! and far abler in. m, and ki had 

hi, determination n> make the Irish u ai tame as 

" ' The ' ■ h, the Intolerant, the pensioner 

ind political jobber, the brutal magistrate, the 

►lent i the lawle >man, the spy, the informer, the 

, the unscrupuloui advocate, the partisan judge 

all I id) to support him ; and to .'ill the demands 

made by the people nothing was offered but the naked -word. 

Under the insurrection Act large districts were proclaimed; 

the Habeas Corpus Act was uspended; tin- militia w< 

hk: - United Iii.li committees were arrested in 

Belfast and their pap I; and in March ( icneral Lake 

flit to Belfast to disarm Ulstet He issued a proclama- 

tion calling on the inhabitants to give up to the military 
officers any arms they might have, and also to give information 
ab »ut any arms they knew to be concealed. In a short time 
nearly 6ooo guns and bayonets were given up, :; but there 
must have been great numbers not given up, and probably 
concealed, and Lake proceeded to search for them. He had 
been ordered by the Chief Secretary, Pelham, not to allow any 
of the search-parties out unaccompanied by an officer. This 
perhaps was not possible over so large an area, and the result 
was that the outrages perpetrated by the secret societies 
throughout Ulster were soon eclipsed in barbarity by the 
savageries of the King's troops. Party spirit, religious 
animosity, local antipathies urged on the Orange yeomanry ; 
but even worse than these was a Welsh regiment called the 
Ancient Britons, whose progress was everywhere marked by 
robbery and murder. Houses were searched, other houses were 
burned, property was wantonly destroyed; to extort confessions 
men were half hanged, then taken down and half hanged 
again ; men were picketed until they fainted, then picketed 
again ; men were killed and maimed ; women and children were 
set upon and done to death. A little boy opened for two 

1 Parliamentary Debates, xvii. 16. 2 Ibid. 297-8, 478-82. 

3 Ibid. 129-30 ; Lecky, iv. 29. 



DRIVING i in. ii OPLE TO Dl PI I \TI".\ 

soldiers the gate lead in;; to .1 | ri\\ l< in.t i,' I yard, and foi l.i. 

civility tluy shot him dead and hacked bis body to \ i 

An old in. in of Seventy, who Bed in 1<m<»i Ikmii a party ''I 

soldiers, was pursued l>v lh< in, and while on hi', l-.nc I piteOUSly 
begging for mercy had his head cut oil' by a single blow. 1 
Another old man named I )ixon, Hirudin;.; hi. <;nt out id< hi, 

door, was charged by a certain Captain Fraser with \>< 

abroad after sunset and so Violating the Insurrection Act 
Having been arrested, Dixon tried to e ( ape, when hi.. 

despatched him with repeated strokes of his sword, The 

murderer was arraigned at the next assizes, several Wltl 
testifying to the inoffensive character of the murdered man. 
Hut the judge commanded the jury to acquit Fraser, saying he 
was a gallant officer, and that if Dixon was so good a man as 
had been represented it was well for him to be out of this 
wicked world. 2 About the same time Arthur O'Connor was 
imprisoned for seditious libel; 3 and a few months later a 
Northern Presbyterian, William Orr, was convicted and hanged 
for administering a seditious oath, though the jury swore that 
some of themselves had been in a state of intoxication at the 
time of giving their verdict. 4 The NortJiern Star newspaper, 
meantime, was suppressed and its press broken and burned, 
and in May the whole country was placed under martial 
law. 5 

It was admitted in Parliament, even by the Government 
supporters, that Lake's proclamation in Ulster was illegal ; still 
more illegal was his use of torture to extort confession. But 
these illegalities were defended and condoned. The outrages 
of the soldiers were either denied or minimized, while those 
done by the United Irishmen were magnified ; and instead of 
Grattan's party increasing, it was becoming less. In opposing 
the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act he was defeated by 
137 to 7 votes ; his Emancipation Bill was thrown out by 143 
to 19; his motion to repeal the Insurrection Act by 127 to 

1 Lecky, iv. 11-12, 42-44, 93 ; Plowden, ii. 627, 646-7. 

2 CI on curry's Persona/ Recollections, 50-51. 

3 Lecky, iv. 78. 4 Ibid. 106-7. ' 5 &uL 85. 



\ » nil I \i ri i) IRISHMEN 

1 5. 1 in ithlng of tin- beat and passion bo plentiful outside 
found its my Into the calmer atmosphere of Parliamentary 
debate Grattan and bis supporters a/ercj sneered at a^ the 

c men , A\\t\ became Ponaonby advised that con- 

. should be male, that Catholic Emancipation and 

Parliamentary Reform should be granted, be was assailed by 

the Solicitor-General, Toler, ai ■ man who had disgraced the 

« harai ker ol ^^ h [ah gentleman ; and Toler avowed that if he had 
beard outside the walls of Parliament any one use such language 
ISOnby had used, " he would have seized the ruffian by 
the throat and dragged him to the dust." 2 Toler was little 
pected even by his own side. Insolent in Parliament, he 
was known to be a bully at the Bar, and at a later date was 
both B bully and a buffoon on the Bench; but he said what 
others felt and had not the courage to say, and his language 
was in keeping with the spirit of insolence and rancour which 
now animated the majority in Parliament. In such an assembly 
Grattan felt that he could do no good, and in May 1797 he 
and Curran and Ponsonby, and the few who acted with them, 
ceased to attend Parliament. " We have offered you our 
measures (Parliamentary Reform, etc.)," he said to the Govern- 
ment, " you will reject them ; we deprecate yours ; you will 
persevere ; having no hope left to persuade or dissuade, and 
having discharged our duty, we shall trouble you no more." 3 
At the general election, which took place a few months later, 
he refused to stand for Dublin ; but he took care to state his 
views on public affairs, describing the Government as blooding 
the magistracy with the poor man's liberty, and with employing 
the rich like bloodhounds to hunt down the poor. 4 

All this time the United Irishmen were looking for foreign 
aid. The negotiations were carried on through M. Rheinhart, 
the French Consul at Hamburg, the Irish agent being Mr. 
Lewins, a Dublin solicitor, specially deputed by the National 
Directory. 5 In July 1797 Dr. Macnevin was also despatched 

1 Parliamentiwy Debates, xvii. 16, 126, 207. 

2 Ibid. 332. 3 Ibid. 570. 

4 Lecky, iv.'i, 89-90. 5 Ibid. 142-4. 



ENGLAND'S ENEMIES IN 1 79 7 15 

to Hamburg to emphasise the demands of Lewim and to give 
fuller information, which he < 1 it l in a Memorial of great ability. 1 

Lcwins and Macncvin were to get a loan from Hamburg, and 
to get aid in men and arms from France and Spain, and also 
from Holland, which was France's ally, and which, having 

deposed its stadtholder, was now the Batavian Republic In 

deference to the wishes of the latter power, which was anxiou 
to have the glory of establishing an Irish Republic, it was 
agreed that a Dutch expedition should first put to sea ; and by 
the 1st of July a strong naval force under Admiral De Winter, 
with 14,000 men on board, was at the Texcl. J A French 
expedition was to be sent from Brest to act in concert with 
the Dutch. This looked bad for England. Worse still, the 
Channel Fleet mutinied at Spithcad in April, and in the 
following month a mutiny broke out at the mouth of the 
Medway, which lasted for six weeks, and in which twenty-five 
vessels joined, some of them belonging to Admiral Duncan's 
force set to watch the Dutch at the Texel. In addition, fresh 
negotiations entered into with France ended in nothing, for 
once again Lord Malmesbury was ordered to leave France. 
Yet did England emerge safely from all these dangers. In 
February Admiral Jervis destroyed the Spanish fleet off Cape 
St. Vincent. 3 The mutinies at Spithead and at the Medway 
were quelled, and in October the Dutch were defeated. 
Fortune had certainly favoured England. Had either the 
Dutch or French been ready to put to sea in May or June, 
while the mutiny lasted, they could have landed any force 
they pleased in Ireland. When the Dutch fleet was ready the 
winds came to England's aid, and for six weeks De Winter was 
unable to move. 4 When he sailed out in October the English 
were equal in strength, equal in vessels, superior in guns. An 
obstinate battle was fought, the Dutch showing all their old 
spirit on the sea. But their defeat was complete, and with the 
loss of 1 1 00 men, the Admiral himself a prisoner, and eleven 
vessels captured, only a small and shattered remnant of De 

1 Castlereagh Correspo7idence, i. 270. 2 Tone, ii. 227-43. 

3 Lecky, iv. 148, 169-72. 4 Tone, ii. 243-64 






Till UNI I I I* IRISHMEN 



u ft returned to the TcxeL 1 In the meantime a 

i li i rnment in Prance had driven Carnot from power 

and in the Hune month of September General 

II .. . • died ; and with the loai of these two, both friendly to 

I, and the evidence aoon available that Bonaparte's 

where, Tone and his friends had to 
abandon .til hope of immediate French aid. 1 

i ■ i: i the United Irishmen had been organizing. Was 
all thil to be for nothing? Were they to submit until Fits- 
gibbon had them as tame as cats? or were they to strike back 

i If no foreign aid came? These questions were soon 

answered In Ulster. A proclamation was issued in May 
granting pardon, with certain specified exceptions, to all 
United Irishmen who would before the 24th of June make 
their submission, giving at the same time security for their 
future good behaviour. 3 Had French aid come the submissions 
would probably have been few. Hut these Ulstermen felt that 
without foreign aid they must fail. They were a cautious 
race, unwilling to take risks ; the religious animosities in their 
midst had reawakened their old antipathy to the Catholics ; 
and for these reasons they made their submission in thousands. 
The province again began to be loyal ; outrages ceased ; the 
summer assizes were held as usual ; and the civil law was 
found sufficient to preserve order. 4 

Antrim and Down refused to desert the United Irish 
Society. Though strong in parts of Leinster, it had so far 
made little progress in Munster or Connaught. But it soon 
spread into Munster, and in its wake outrages followed, arms 
were seized, houses burned, corn and cattle destroyed. 5 For 
Catholic Emancipation and Parliamentary Reform the masses 
cared little, but they cared much about rent, taxes and tithes ; 6 
and now agents of the United Irish Society went among them 
promising that rents, taxes and tithes would be less if only the 



1 Lecky, iv. 179-80. 2 Tone, ii. 270. 

3 Seward's Collectanea Hibernica (copy of Proclamation). 

4 Plowden, ii. 627, 642-3. 5 Lecky, iv. 127-31, 137-41, 177. 
6 Pieces of Irish History \ p. 199. 



PROSPECTS OF REBELLION l\ IRELAND 47 

United Irishmen succeeded. These agents alto reported that 

the Orangemen were coining south to murder tin- Catholii 

and thus, stimulated by false hopes and frightened by ground 
less fears, thousands of the Catholic peasants rushed Into the 
ranks of the United Irishmen. 

On their side the Government would do nothing. Portland 

pleaded with Camden for Catholic concessions, hut he pleaded 
in vain. 1 So late as the: summer of 1 J<)j these Catholics were 
relying on petitions tO obtain redress, but even their ineeth 
to petition had been proclaimed. At that date the cause of 
Irish disaffection was ascribed by Crattan to the conduct of the 
servants of Government who were endeavouring to establish 
absolute power by unlimited bribery, to set up a system of 
corruption sustained by coercion, "a ruthless and horrid tyranny 
imposed on the senate by influence and on the people by 
arms." 3 The moderate men on both sides withdrew from 
public life, leaving the field to reactionaries on one side and to 
revolutionists on the other. The Government seemed as 
anxious for war as the United Irishmen, 4 and in the last days 
of 1797 every one who could read the signs of the times knew 
well that the struggle was near. 

1 Lecky, iv. 242-3. 2 Plowden, ii. 635. 3 Lecky, iv. 190. 

4 Miss Taylor's Lord Edward FitzGcrald, pp. 221-2, 257. 



CHAPTER III 

The Rebellion 0/1798 

GENERAL COCKBURN, an English officer who served in Ireland 
during the troubled time of 1798, drew up a list of 49 persons 

by whom the Irish Government was carried on. This list he 
called u The Step-ladder ; or a View of the Irish Government 
during the System of Terror." l At the topmost rung of the 
ladder were the Irish Cabinet, consisting of Lords Clare and 
tlereagh, the Speaker, the Archbishop of Cashel and Mr. 
John Beresford. Under these were the understrappers, 
among them being Mr. Cooke, the Under Secretary, and Lord 
Carhampton. Lower down were five 4< supporters of Orangeism, 
jobbery and corruption," and next were six " servants of the 
faction," immediately under whom were seven " enemies of 
liberty." After these came ten " ruffian magistrates, always 
ready to murder and burn." Lower still were a few " mis- 
creants," such as Sirr, Swan, Sandyes, Gifford, Higgins and 
Hepenstall. After them came the informers. As we ascend 
from the latter to the " enemies of liberty," Lords Downshire 
and Dillon, and Messrs. Trench and Alexander call for no 
special notice and have not acquired eminence even in infamy. 
The Archbishop of Tuam was a Beresford, and brother-in-law 
of the Lord Chancellor. O'Beirne had been educated for the 
Catholic priesthood, but became a Protestant and a bishop ; 
and Dr. Duigenan, like O'Beirne, was a convert from Catholicity, 
a coarse bigot whose chief aversion was the religion he had 
abandoned. Lords Londonderry, Annesley and Kingsborough 
among the u servants of the faction " were mischievous 
nonentities ; Lord Waterford was one of the innumerable 
1 Fitzpatrick's The Sham Squire^ pp. 193-4. 
48 



"THE STEP LADDBS " v> 

Beresfords , Lord Blaquiere had much experience in public 
affairs and had a talent for intrigue ; and Toler, the Solicitor- 
General, who subsequently became lord Norbury, was entirely 
without principle or a sense of decency. Mr. Corry, one of the 

N Strong supporters of Orangeism," liad been | patriot, and was 
now a violent supporter of the Government. Lords Carleton 
and 1'ery might be regarded as respectable men, much superior 
in character to their disreputable associates. I'ery especially 
was a man of great ability; but the same could not be said of 
Lord Enniskillen, nor of the " understrappers " Lords Droghcda 
and Glentworth ; and as to Claudius Bercsford, his title to be 
remembered rests on the cruelties he exercised. Lord 
Carhampton, the grandson of that Henry Luttrell who had 
betrayed King James at Limerick, was a man whose reputa- 
tion was so bad that Junius once described him as having 
disgraced even the name of Luttrell. He had already earned 
distinction by his cruelties in Connaught in 1795 ; his private 
as well as his public character was of the vilest, and perhaps 
no man in all Ireland was more execrated than he. 1 Mr. 
Cooke had been originally a clerk, and then becoming Under 
Secretary, had been dismissed by Fitzwilliam, but after 
Fitzwilliam's recall had been restored to favour and to office. 
He had considerable talent for intrigue, was cruel, callous, 
insolent and treacherous, a man whose natural place was a 
corrupt court, and to whom honour and justice were but 
empty names. 2 

But, after all, the most guilty were the five who formed the 
Irish Cabinet. It was they who controlled the whole machinery 
of government ; who maintained a majority in Parliament by 
pensions, places and titles ; who condoned the crimes of the 
Orangemen ; who stirred up sectarian rancour ; encouraged 
such men as Carhampton in all their cruelties ; employed such 
tools as Cooke ; promoted such lawyers as Toler ; applauded 
all the savageries of magistrates and military officers ; and 
rewarded the perjurer and the informer when he swore away 
the lives of the innocent as well as the guilty. Agar, who was 
1 Sham Squire, pp. 46-49. 2 Ibid. 124 et seq. 

Vol. Ill 74 



So 1 mi ii BILLK >W 01 1798 

Archbishop of Cashel and subsequently Archbishop of Dublin, 
died, in 180 Earl of Normanton, and had his character 

summed up in .1 contemporary publication in two lines: 
A'tim, thou mitred nothingnesfj .uin-u, 

i'hy tailings many ami thy \ 1 1 tut*. trw. [ 

kbitioUS uid avaricious, he entirely neglected his episcopal 

duties tor affairs <>t State, and while the curates of Dublin were 

ttarving on £50 a year, he amassed o much wealth himself 

that he died worth ^400,000^ Beresford was at the head of 

Revenue Hoard, and so powerful from position and family 
Influence that he was called the King of Ireland. Both the 
Archbishop and the King of Ireland were stubbornly opposed 
to all popular concession, and favoured or suggested every act 
of severity done by the Government ; and in complete accord 
with them were the Speaker, Mr. Foster, and Lord Clare. The 
latter seems to have hated the whole Irish people, and never 
spoke of the country or the people but in opprobrious terms. 
Unlike Archbishop Agar, however, he was not fond of money. 
His passion was to rule, and with him this meant to tyrannize, 
to insult, to browbeat, to trample on any one who opposed 
him. Lord Castlereagh had entered Parliament as a reformer 
in 1790. He had employed Neilson, the United Irishman, as 
his electioneering agent, was a member of the Whig Club and 
of a Volunteer association, and for some years in Parliament 
always voted for Parliamentary reform. 3 Gradually he shifted 
his ground, and by 1797 he had done such service on the 
Government side of the House of Commons, and shown such 
ability for public affairs, that he was appointed Chief Secretary 
in place of Mr. Pelham, then in England. At first the post 
was but temporary ; but Pelham never resumed office, and 
during 1798 it was by Castlereagh it was filled. 

It has been said that in dealing with the people the Viceroy 
Camden was in favour of milder measures, but that he was 
constantly outvoted by Clare and Castlereagh. 4 It is true 

1 Sham Squire, p. 198. 2 D'Alton's Archbishops of Dublin, pp. 350-5 1. 

3 Castlereagh Correspondence, i. 8-9. 

4 Ibid. 157-8 ; Sham Squire, p. 227 ; Sir John Moore's Diary, i. 286. 



CAMDKNS POSITION 51 

that before going to Ireland he favoured ■ moderate Parlia- 
mentary reform and some other minor COnceSSloni j DUl alter 

going to Ireland he ceased to be • reformer in any len le, and 
would not, even under pressure from Portland, consent to have 

anything done for the Catholics. 1 It is true also that in 

opposition to his chief ad\isers in Ireland he disapproved of 

appointing Lake Commander-in-Chief, but his objection ua, 
to Lake's incapacity for high command, not to the leverities 

which Lake employed. 1 Ciinden, it is certain, was a less able 
and a much weaker man than either (dare or ( 'astlerea-di, and 
was, no doubt} awed and controlled by their more commanding 
wills. At all events, he made no effective protest against their 
policy of savage repression ; he allowed himself to be dominated 
by them ; it was their views he put forward in his letters to 
Portland and Pitt; and every barbarous act of the Irish 
Government in 1798 and in the previous years was done with 
his sanction and under the shelter of his name. As for Pitt 
and Portland, they regarded Irish affairs — in Grattan's words 
— " with lazy contumely," content to believe Camden and 
Castlereagh that the country was seething with sedition, and 
that what the masses wanted was not reform but separation 
from England. Hence they approved of Carhampton's 
illegalities and of Lake's proclamation, of Government prosecu- 
tions and of military violence, of rewarding partisan judges, 
unscrupulous advocates, perjured witnesses and degraded 
informers. 

There was a plentiful supply of these latter. Joining the 
ranks of the Defenders or United Irishmen, they learned the 
secrets of these societies, and then, turning on their fellow- 
members, sent them to the dock and to the scaffold. Some- 
times it was the desire to save themselves which led them to 
betray others ; sometimes they acted merely for money. In 
many cases they were men of broken fortune and desperate 
character, utterly unworthy of being believed. Curran, for 
instance, had no difficulty in showing at the Drogheda Assizes 
in 1794 that the informer against the Defenders was a perjurer. 
1 Lecky, iv. 27-28, 67-68, 230. 2 Secret Service toider Pitt, p. 358. 



l HI R] Bl ill* »\ < >! 1798 

The wit:u- . . against hi. Urennan h<- • les< 1 ibed truly as an 
1 profit-.; ate. ( 'apt am Armstrong, who swore away ll it* 

lives of the brothers Shearcs, was an infidel, an acknowledged 
discipl -in Paine; and Reynolds, who betrayed Bond, was 

shown to have no regard for the sanctity of an oath. 1 A more 

repulsive type of informer w.i I I ''Hrien, Who was subsequently 

hanged tor murder, and whom Curran described as dipping the 

Evangelist! In blood He and others, known at the time as 
tin- M battalion of testimony," were kept at Dublin Castle, and 
under the tutelage of Sirr learned to swear away the lives of 
the innocent as well as the guilty. They came into court 
" from the very chambers of the Castle, where the wretch that 
is buried a man lies till his heart has time to fester and dissolve 
and is then dug up an informer/ 1 ~ 

A more numerous class of informers were those who never 
appeared in court, and who before the public were honest and 
patriotic, but in secret were Government spies in receipt of 
Government pay. Duggan from Tyrone took part in the 
rebellions of 1798 and 1803, and yet in one year drew £500 
as a Government spy. Maguckian was the legal adviser of 
the United Irishmen and systematically betrayed his clients. 3 
Macnally, the patriot barrister and close friend of Curran, was 
for thirty years before his death in receipt of a pension, and 
only w ith difficulty was his treachery discovered after his death. 4 
Magan, who betrayed Lord Edward Fitzgerald, was a Catholic 
barrister and a United Irishman. 5 Mr. Turner, LL.D., was on 
the executive of the United Irish Society, the trusted friend of 
Lord Edward and his wife, imprisoned with Emmet and others 
in 1798, and even attainted, and all the time was telling what 
he knew and receiving payment for it. 6 Dillon, a solicitor 
at Dundalk, ruined his friend Dickie, another solicitor. 7 Dr. 

1 Currants Speeches, pp. 194-5, 332-4. 2 Ibid. 297, 309-12. 

3 Sham Squire, pp. 272-9, 340-1. 

4 Secret Service under Pitt, pp. 174-210; Currants Life, by his Son, 
ii. 14. 

5 Secret Service, pp. 126-53. 

6 Moore's Lord Edward FitzGerald, pp. 410-23. 

7 Sham Squire, pp. 339-40. 



THE INFORMERS 

("onion, of the same town, endeavoured to rein his colleague, 
I )r. Dromgoole. Robert O'Connor gave information against 

his brother Arthur ; and it is not unlikely that Sir Jonah 

Barrington also betrayed his friends. 1 Stranger still and more 
shameful, among those! in receipt of secret service money v. 
father Doran of Monasterevin, who got /. 50; and that amount 

was also given on several occasions to hat her Barry, P.P., of 
Mallow.' There arc many names on the list difficult, if no1 
impossible, to identity, and as to the amounts, they varied from 
very small sums to ^5000, this being the amount given to 
Reynolds. 8 Money was not spared, and for the four years 
ending September 1801 more than ^38,000 was thus expended 
by the Irish Government ; and this is exclusive of pensions 
and places given as the reward of treachery.' 

Much valuable information thus came into the hands of 
the Government, and hence they were able to arrest the 
Ulster leaders in 1796, just as Hoche and Tone were pre- 
paring' to leave Brest. 5 Newell, a miniature painter of Belfast, 
gave much information about the Ulster United Irishmen in 
the summer of 1797 ;° Macnally was in a position to know 
much and did not fail to tell all he knew. Francis Higgins, 
nicknamed the Sham Squire, one of the lowest characters of 
the time, though not a United Irishman, had, as owner of 
the Freeman's Journal^ many opportunities of getting informa- 
tion, and was not only a paid informer himself but even paid 
others to act as such.' But Turner's services were the most 
important of all. He was able to transmit from Hamburg 
a copy of Macnevin's Memorial and also the report of the 
French secret agent at London, M. Jagerhorn ; he had inter- 
views with Talleyrand about the designs of France ; and in 
October 1797 he gave the names of the Executive Committee 
of the United Irishmen (himself being one), a body which 

1 Secret Set vice, pp. 340, 351 ; Sir John Moore's Diary, i. 285. 

- Gilbert's Documents relating to Ireland, pp. 57, 61, 66, 75. 

3 Ibid. 26. 4 Ibid. 2. 

5 Secret Service, pp. 59, 94; Teeling's Personal Narrative, pp. 13, 

*5> 27, 34-35- 

G Gilbert, pp. 104-14. 7 Vide The Sham Squire. 



54 1 hi i.i hi LLIOM 01 »79 8 

b&d feme control of the- whole piracy. 1 So much 

Known, Lord Clonmelg the IliAh ( bid Justice, suggested 
that t'* ihoald bfl takrn uj) under the suspension of 

the ILiU-. ;.u, Act and the insurrection thus prevented, 

I to t! a Camden himself incline.!.' Hut they were 

Outvoted in the 1' i ivy Council by Fit/Gibbon and his friends, 

who were ised with Clonmei that they no longei 

invited him t«> their Council meetii: They \\'<*rc really 

r an Insurrection and preferred to let matters drift, at 
least until evidence was available to convict the Irish leaders 
in open court. Camden was most anxious that Turner 
should come forward, but that gentleman positively declined. 
Ih- told his tale in London, not to any official or minister, 
hut to Lord Downshire, whom he interviewed in an empty 
house, dressed in a cloak and slouched hat. Even to Pitt 
he was only " Lord Downshirc's friend," and no sum of money, 
however great, could tempt him to become a public informer. 3 

Early in 1798 the United Irish Society, though weak 
in Connaught, had 1 10,000 members in Ulster, more than 
100,000 in Munster, and 70,000 in Leinster. 4 The supreme 
control had then been transferred from Belfast to Dublin, and 
was in the hands of Emmet, O'Connor, Macnevin, Bond and 
MacCormack. The last named was too moderate for the 
extreme section of the rank and file, and thinking his life 
was in danger he fled the country. Bond was a Dissenter 
and a rich merchant ; Emmet and Macnevin were men of 
ability but knew nothing of war, nor did O'Connor, though 
he afterwards became a French general. On military matters 
Lord Edward FitzGerald's advice was usually sought, though 
not always acted upon. In the autumn of 1797, for instance, 
a deputation came to the Supreme Council from the militia 
sergeants then in Dublin, offering to seize the barracks and 
Castle, a proposal favoured by Lord Edward but rejected by 

1 These were Jackson, Bond, Chambers, Dickson, Father Casey, 
Emmet, Macnevin, Keogh, MacCormack, Turner, A. O'Connor, Orr, 
Teeling, Lord Edward FitzGerald, etc. 

2 Fitzpatrick's Jrela?ui before the Union, pp. 59-60. 

3 Lecky, iv. 259-60. 4 Ibid. 252. 



LORD EDWARD FITZGERALD 55 

the Council.' There wai also an Intention to commence the 
insurrection on the following Christmas morning, hot again 

a majority of the Council favoured waiting fof the French. 

In the beginning of February, however, 1 nirancei came thai 

the- French would arrive at the late.t in May. Arthm 
O'Connor was then deputed to };o to France and hasten their 

departure ; a military committee was appointed to organize 

the forces at home ; and I/>rd Kdward was named Commander- 
in-Chief of the rebel forces. 

He was then in his thirty-fifth year, a man of singularly 
attractive character, frank, manly, chivalrous, sincere, absolutely 
without guile, utterly unselfish, and of broad human sympathies. 
Even among his own class he had no personal enemies, though 
lie had many bitter political opponents ; and as to the masses 
of the people he was the best beloved of all the patriots of 
his time: 1 He was a Geraldine, married to a beautiful French- 
woman whose character was as winning as his own ; the son 
of Ireland's only duke, he threw rank and fortune to the winds 
to fight for the people, and he perished in their cause ; and 
in his own day he was their idol, as his memory has been 
idolized since then. But he was a poor conspirator. Coming 
back from Basle to Hamburg in 1796, after his interview 
with Hoche, he indirectly hinted to a lady fellow-traveller 
what had been the object of his journey, and the lady promptly 
sent the news to London. 4 While with his regiment in 
America he had given abundant proof of conspicuous personal 
courage and had endeared himself both to officers and 
soldiers. 5 But there is no evidence to show that he was a 
man of superior ability, and certainly none to show that he 
could lead large masses of men. However, he took his position 
quite seriously, and proceeded to have everything in readiness 
for the coming campaign. 6 

Meanwhile the Irish Government had not been idle. The 

1 Miss Taylor's Life of Lord Edward FitzGerald, pp. 230-31 ; Moore's 
Life, pp. 240-41. 

2 Gilbert, pp. 119-20. 3 Lecky, History of Ireland, iv. 256. 
4 Taylor, p. 207. 5 Ibid. 40. 6 Lecky, iv. 258. 



i m k t 11 LUOM 01 1798 

/'> iu h had h t*t up in pi, nc of the Northern Shir, 

I in which Lord Edward, IfacnsJly snd O'Connor were 

shareholders, ti 1 named being the editor, was itself 

now luppi ' O'Connor himself, <>n his way to France, 

w 1 I at M 11 and tried at Maidstone for high 

■•i. 'In at English men, Fox, Erskine and 

Sheridan, as well as Lord Moira .u\i\ (irattan, testified as 
t> his chart id he was acquitted; hut an Irish priest 

named O'Coigley who accompanied him was convicted and 

More important still was the arrest at Oliver Bond's 
h .11 . -, on the 1 Ith of March, of the Provincial Directory for 
Leinster. Reynolds was the informer. He was brother-in- 
law to Wolfe Tone and an old friend of Lord Edward's, whom 
he kept from the meeting, and so prevented his arrest. But 
all the others were arrested and their papers seized, and on 
the 30th of the same month martial law and free quarters 
were proclaimed. General Abercromby was then in chief 
military command in Ireland. Nearly a year before Camden 
wished to have Carhampton, then Commander-in-Chief, 
superseded by Lord Cornwallis ; but the latter refused the 
post unless large concessions were made to the Catholics, and 
hence Carhampton remained in office until November, when 
Abercromby was appointed. lie was a Scotchman who had 
formerly served in Ireland, had also seen service in the East 
and West Indies, and was a capable soldier and a man of 
honour. He found the Irish army demoralized, and in the 
end of February issued an order declaring that they were 
formidable to every one but the enemy. And he soon after, 
and with further knowledge, added that within the year just 
passed every cruelty and crime that could be committed by 
Cossacks or Calmucks had been committed in Ireland by the 
army, and with the sanction of those high in office. 4 As in 
duty bound, he carried out the proclamation of the 30th of 
March throughout the counties of Leinster and Munster. 
But he was out of touch with Clare and Castlereagh, he 

1 Lecky, iv. 196-7. 2 Madden, ii. 298-302 ; Lord Cloncurry, pp. 65-67. 

3 Plowden, ii. 676-9; Lecky, iv. 261-5. 4 Lecky, iv. 203-4, 208-9. 



on n: \t.i. , i;\ & >LDII i 57 

w.is too mild Mid too merciful, and In the following month 
he threw up his command and returned to England* 1 

I lis successor was General Lake, who had disarmed l-T.tei 
in tin- previous year and who now proceeded in the countic 
of Leinster and Munster to drive the people to madness, A 

proclamation was issued on the 3rd of April demanding the 

surrender of all arms within ten days. Wheieur no arms 
were surrendered the soldiers quartered themselves in the 

houses, took provisions and farm horses, wantonly destroyed 
property. 1 In these outrages the Ancient Britons, the 

Hessians and the North Cork Militia took the lead. As 
the people wore their hair short they were called "croppies," 
and a sergeant of the North Cork, nicknamed Tom the Devil, 
invented a new torture, which consisted of a linen or brown 
paper cap filled with burning pitch and then pressed on the 
he. id i)\ the victim. Sometimes moistened gunpowder was 
rubbed into the hair, which was then set on fire ; often an 
ear was cut off. As the soldiers passed along men were 
called to their doors and shot dead in the open day ; men 
were half -hanged, picketed, flogged. :; Some women had 
certainly taken the United oath, and those suspected of 
having done so were treated with the same cruelty as the 
men.' Those who wore green ribbons or green dresses had 
them torn off and had to submit to the grossest acts of 
indecency even in public. Many a peasant girl became the 
prey of some brutal soldier, maddened with Orange bigotry 
and drink. Her beauty attracted him ; her innocence and 
modesty furnished her with no protection against his lust ; 
he jeered at her agonizing shrieks ; and often she was outraged 
in the presence of husband or brother or parent, who were 
powerless to rescue her from dishonour. 5 

At Drogheda a respectable citizen, because he wore a gold 

1 Lecky, iv. 213-15. 2 Plowden, ii. 677. 

3 Lecky, iv. 270-76 ; Moore's Lord Edward FitzGerald (Letter of 
Lady Napier). 

4 Madden, iii. 202 ; Teeling, p. 73. 

5 Plowden, ii. 705 ; Gordon's History of the Rebellion^ pp. 54-55. 



5« nn i;i BEU i< m l 'i 1798 

nil .1 shamrock device, was taken and Bogged to death. 
In the town | yOUng man lU l pCCted of knowing where 

arms v. u aled u itemed to $000 lashes. A portion 

ol thJj punUhment he endured, but being unable to stand the 
torture lie I I to give inform. ition (in reality he knew 

nothing), and while the soldiers were absent he cut his throat. 1 
In Dublin the streets were deserted, public amusements had 
ed, the names of the inhabitants had to be posted on the 
doofl of the houses, families were flying in terror to Kn; s dand, 
the jails were full, droves of men were being sent to the fleet, 
the coffins were opened and searched for arms as they were 
carried to the grave. 2 In the military barracks, at the old 
Custom- House, at the Royal Kxchange, most of all at Beres- 
ford's riding-school, the lash was unsparingly used. The shrieks 
of the victims could be heard even in the Castle, and a young 
man was seen to issue from a barrack with a burning pitch 
cap on his head and to plunge headlong into the Liffey, thus 
gladly seeking in death for relief from the tortures he endured. 3 
Lieutenant Hepenstall of the Wicklow Militia, a giant in 
height and in strength, in order to extort confession, often 
put his handkerchief round a man's neck, threw him across his 
shoulder, and then walked or ran along until his victim was 
half-hanged, or perhaps a corpse dangling at his heels. For 
these exploits he has earned infamous notoriety as the Walking 
Gallows. 4 Equally infamous was Judkin FitzGerald, the High 
Sheriff of Tipperary. At the head of a flying column he rode 
through the county, flogging whomsoever he suspected. At 
Clogheen he flogged a shopkeeper in front of his door because 
he would not say who swore him a United Irishman, though 
the man had never been sworn at all. At Clonmel he flogged 
a French tutor because he suspected he was a United Irish- 

1 Teeling, p. 74. 2 Currarts Life, i. 378-80. 

3 Plowden, ii. 695 ; Teeling, p. 75. 

4 After his death the following was suggested as a suitable epitaph : 

Here lie the bones of Hepenstall, 
Judge, jury, gallows, rope and all. 

(Fitzpatrick's Ireland before the Union, pp. 244-6.) 



ARREST AND DEATH 01 LORD EDWARD i ITZCE1 ALD 

man, and al*>ve all became he found in his 1 a perfectly 

harmless French note, which the savage was too illiterate t«> 

understand. 1 It was said that in order to [flflfc t the greater pain 
he had his scourges steeped in salt. The spirit of 'I ipperary 
has always been dangerous to rouse, but it must have slept in 
those days, when no Tipperaryman was bold enough and 
courageous enough to rid the earth of such a scoundrel. 

The popular leaders still counselled patience, but the people 
could hardly be restrained. Many of them also were giving 
up their arms, and some turning informers, and at last the 
leaders themselves became anxious for war and fixed on the 
23rd of May for the insurrection.' 2 By that time the prospect 
had become dark. In the end of February Bonaparte pointed 
out to the French Directory the difficulties of a descent on 
England, and advised as more feasible an expedition to Malta 
and Egypt, which would penetrate as far as India, and defeating 
England there, would dry up the sources of her corrupting 
wealth. In accordance with this advice an army of the East 
was formed ; the expedition to England or to Ireland was 
abandoned ; and on the 19th of May Bonaparte with 20,000 
men set sail from Toulon. 3 

The very same day Lord Edward FitzGerald was taken 
prisoner. For more than two months the Government had 
been on his track. He had frequently to change his place of 
concealment, but all the time he kept in touch with the popular 
leaders, and to them he proposed, but in vain, to attack the 
House of Lords on the 18th of May while they sat to try 
Lord Kingston for murder. 4 He had formulated the plans for 
the 23rd, which included the capture of Dublin, the surprise of 
the military camp at Loughlinstown, and the taking prisoners 
of the Executive Government. He had gone through the city 
and outside it, and had been seen by many, but not one of 
them betrayed him, though ,£1000 was offered for his capture. 
At last, however, Higgins, the Sham Squire, got his friend 

1 S/iam Squire, pp. 216-19 > Lecky, iv. 277-88. 

2 Gordon, pp. 65-66, 73. 8 Guillon, pp. 332-5. 
4 Miss Taylor's Lord Edward FitzGerald, p. 297. 



l HI I [ON Ol • j 

Magan, the United Irishman, to turn traitor, and on the 19th 
"i M ' ompanied by Major Sandyes, Captain 

K\ 11 in 1 1 -in.- m ii 1 ., proN ei ded to the- hou ■<• of Mr. Murphy 
of rhomai Street Lord Edward w ting on ■ lx*<i after 

dinner when Sandyes and Kyan entered the rOOOEL The 

I fired at him ami wounded him ilightly, the latter 
atta him with a sword-cane Bui Lord Edward made 

a i! tance, stabbed Sandyes with a da ,1, and mortally 

Xinded Ryan, and it was only when hi. aim had been 
broken by a pistol-shot from Sirr that he was Overpowered. 
lie WSJ then taken to Newgate prison, where he died of his 
wounds on the 4th of June. 1 The day following his capture 
the new Directory of the United Irishmen was broken up by 
the arrest of the brothers Shearea and the flight of Lawless ; 
and the insurrectionary movement was thus left without a 

ler. To make matters worse the Catholic Bishops issued a 
pastoral advising the people not to be deluded by impious 
men, but to give up their arms, stand by the existing constitu- 
tion, and give allegiance to "the best of kings" and to "an 
enlightened legislature." " To advise the people to abandon 
the insurrection was certainly sound advice, as the rebellion 
had no chance of success ; but it was surely not necessary to 
describe George III. as the best of kings, for Dr. Troy at least 
must have known that his obstinate bigotry stood in the way 
of Catholic concession ; and as to the Irish Parliament, it had 
not the least share of public spirit, and was without question 
the most corrupt and the most contemptible legislature in 
Europe. 

These varying causes had the effect of limiting the area of 
the rebellion. Warned by the informers, the Government took 
ample means to keep Dublin quiet ; and only portions of 
Wicklow, Kildare, Carlow, Dublin, Meath and Queen's Counties 
rose. On the morning of the 24th the mail coaches to Belfast, 
Cork, Limerick and Athlone were stopped, and within the next 
three days there were encounters with the military at Naas, 

1 Moore's Lord Edward FitzGcrald, pp. 277-313. 
2 Seward, iii. 271. 



' 



THE REBELLION BEGIN8 6l 

('lane, PfOiperOUS, KllCUllen and Mona-.terevin in Kildan- 

County, at Dunboyne and Tara In Meath, at Baltlngla in 
Wicklow, at Lucan, Rathfarnham and Tallaght In Dublin, and 
at Carlow town. But skill and discipline and superior an 

prevailed over numbers, and in every ( I apt at Pro pcrOUS 

the military wen- victorious.' At Prosperous the barracks and 

part of the town were set on fire, and the soldiers — in all about 
70 — were cither burned to death or piked as they crn< 1 

from the burning buildings. The rebels were led by Lieutenant 
Esmond of the yeomanry, who in the darkness of night left his 

quarters at ('lane, and then when Prosperous had fallen into 
the rebel's hands, quietly returned to ('lane as if nothing had 
happened. His treachery, however, was discovered, and bi 
made prisoner and sent to Dublin, he was hanged, receiving in 
a traitor's doom the punishment of his crime." Disheartened 
by failure, a large party of rebels in Kildarc made terms with 
General Dundas and surrendered their arms. Another party 
at Gibbctrath in the same county had also agreed to give up 
their arms, and were assembled for the purpose when General 
Duff came up from Limerick with 600 men. As the soldiers 
advanced to take up the arms of the rebels, one of the latter 
fired in the air, and Duffs men, feigning to believe that 
treachery was intended, fell on the unresisting multitude and 
cut them to pieces. Dundas was able to stay the slaughter, 
but not till 300 had been killed. 3 

Within a week the rebellion was stamped out, the Govern- 
ment had triumphed, and it seemed as if their troubles were 
at an end. But the fire thus so easily extinguished in the 
counties named was now kindled afresh in the county of 
Wexford, where it burned with a fiercer glow. So far but few 
of the Wexfordmen had become United Irishmen, and so 
secure did the Government feel that in the whole county there 
were but 600 regular troops, the garrisons being mostly com- 
posed of yeomanry and North Cork Militia. These were but 
little under control, and, being Orangemen, were animated by 
religious animosity. After the proclamation of martial law 
1 Gordon, pp. 84-85, 88-98. 2 Ibid. 86-87. 3 Ibid. 100-102. 



mi ri BBLUOM 01 I 

they indulged freely In every « burning houses, flowing, 

han lire, A i ntlc-in.m named l'ery, being 

i suspicion, had his hair rubbed with moistened gun- 

pou ui the n - >( -t on BreJ A man named Driscoll, for 

having two Catholii prayer-books in his pocket, with which he 

la have been administering unlawful oatfis, was half-hanged 

three times and tour times (logged ; and a poor h chool- 

master who refuted tO promise that if he learned anything 

hereafter of concealed pikes he would inform, was also flogged. 1 
A magistrate named Hunter Gowan marched into Gorey at 
the head of his yeomen, one of whom, ever ready to act as 
cutioner, was provided with a cat-o'-nine-tails and a hanging 
rope. The people tied in terror at their approach, and at 
night slept in the fields ; and one night in a village so deserted 
the houses were searched, and one man being found, was taken 
out and flogged. A yeoman used the lash, another threw 
water on the back of the victim, whose piteous cries were 
heard afar off through the stillness of the night ; and the 
following morning the place looked as if a pig had been killed 
there. 3 Across the mountains from Wicklow, Carlow and 
Kildare came tales of fearful cruelty, of flogging and torture, 
and of no quarter being given in battle. 4 It was said that the 
Orangemen had declared that they would wade ankle-deep in 
Papist blood. It was what the people feared much more than 
what they saw which made them United Irishmen ; they 
thought it was better to fall fighting than to be massacred, and 
on the 26th of May Father John Murphy of Booley vogue 
raised the standard of rebellion. 5 

His first encounter was with Lieutenant Bookey, Bookey 
and his little party all falling in the battle. The next day 
being Whit Sunday, Father John and his men took up a 
position on Oulart Hill. From Wexford Colonel Foster and 
1 10 men of the North Cork Militia were sent to disperse them, 
but the assailants, at first victorious, were driven back by a 

1 Gordon, pp. 207-8. 2 Hay ? s History of the Rebellion, pp. 61-63. 

3 Ibid. 74. 4 Ibid. 72 ; Ireland before the Union, pp. 260-64. 

5 Gordon, pp. 104-5. 



KKHKL VICTORIES DJ 

charge of pikemen, and such was the daughter that only the 

colonel himself, a sergeant and three priv.r aped alive from 

the conflict. In the meantime a part)- of n-ix i . had been 

driven from Kilthomas Hill, the soldiers following Up their 

victory by every species of outrage, burning <>f houses, burning 
of Catholic churches, the slaughter of unarmed and unresisting. 
These outrages added to Father John's forces, already increased 

b\ his victor)' at Oulart, and without delay lie advanced to 
Camolin and Ferns, lx>th of which places he captured, and 
then advanced to the attack of Knniscorthy. The resistance 
of the military, aided by many Protestant volunteers, was 
desperate and prolonged ; hut numbers and enthusiasm carried 
the day, and Knniscorthy fell into the rebels' hands. The 
soldiers and those who aided them, or were in sympathy with 
them, fled in confusion to Wexford, whither the Protestants 
from many districts turned as to a city of refuge. 1 The place 
was strongly garrisoned ; but the soldiers, who in February were 
formidable to every one but the enemy, had become still further 
demoralized since the departure of Abercromby, and the victory 
of the rebels at Oulart and Enniscorthy had filled them with 
such terror that they sent messages to Enniscorthy to Father 
John asking for terms. No terms, however, would be given 
them, and the rebels, intent on fighting, marched south and 
took up a position at Three Rocks, a little to the west of 
Wexford. General Fawcett sent from Duncannon 200 men 
under Colonel Maxwell, and these arrived safely at Wexford. 
Fawcett himself followed, and halting at Taghmon, sent for- 
ward a body of 88 men, with two guns. They were met at 
Three Rocks by the rebels and cut to pieces, the guns being 
captured and the men all killed. On receipt of this news 
Fawcett fell back to Duncannon, and Colonel Maxwell, who 
had gone out from W T exford to effect a junction with Fawcett, 
returned to the town, and such was the cowardice and terror of 
the garrison that they abandoned the place, marching to 
Duncannon by the sea road, and thus avoiding the rebels at 
Three Rocks. Burning houses and slaughtered peasants 
1 Gordon, pp. 110-15 ; Hay, p. 94. 



64 i in ii 1:1 II [4 IM oi i | 

marked their | ind itill furthei embittered the In- 

surgents, who 011 their side took pOSSC ion of Wexford. 1 

ey, which had been deserted by the military on the 2 8th, 
npied by them two dayi later ; they also held the 

district rOUnd Arklow ; hut except these places all the county 

Wexford was in tlu- rebels 1 hands, who were now in great 
strength, and had set up three encampments, <'ii<- at Three 

Rocks, cue west of Gorey, and one just outside 

Enniscorthy, on the summit and slopes of Vinegai Hill. 1 

Hut the insurgent leaders well knew that even had all 
Wexford been in their hands and every adult Wexfordman in 
ann^, they must nevertheless, if unaided, fail. It became 
necessary, then, to rouse the neighbouring counties, and with 
this object in view a force of 5000 men was detached from 
the main body at Vinegar Ilill, and on the morning of the 1st 
of June Newtownbarry was attacked. The garrison of 500 
soon abandoned the town, which was occupied by the rebels ; 
but instead of securing their position they fell to drinking, and 
while they were intoxicated and all heedless of danger, the 
military came back. After some resistance, the rebels were 
driven out, with the loss of 200 of their number, and thus the 
attempt to pass into Carlow had failed. 3 Three days later a 
more desperate attack was met with more desperate and equally 
successful resistance at New Ross. The rebel force made the 
attack from their headquarters at Carrickbyrne, under the leader- 
ship of Beuchamp Bagenal Harvey. Though a Protestant 
and a landlord, he was known to have popular sympathies, and 
as such he and Messrs. Colclough and FitzGerald, also men of 
property, had been imprisoned in Wexford. When Enniscorthy 
was taken the two latter were sent by the military authorities 
to negotiate with the rebels and induce them, if possible, to 
lay down their arms. Being unsuccessful in this, FitzGerald 
went over to the rebel side ; Colclough returned to Wexford, 
where he remained in prison until the town fell into the rebels' 
hands, and then, having been released from prison, as well as 
Harvey, the latter was made commander-in-chief of the rebel 

1 Gordon, pp. 118-23. 2 Ibid. 128-9. 3 Mid. 129-31. 



BATTLE 01 mw R088 

army. He had no knowledge of military affairs and do 
capacity to lead ; but being induced t<> accept the poaition (for 
he was not anxious for it), he gathered the whole forca oi 

South Wexford together at ( larrickbyrne 1 1 ill, and the an hod 

to Corbet Hill within a mile of New Ro 

On the morning of the 5th of June he itimmoned New 
Ross to surrender, but the only answer he received was to 
have his messenger shot dead Whatever plans were formed 

for the attack on the town were dislocated by this event, for 
the insurgents would not be restrained, and rushing forward, 
under the command of John Kelly of Kilfian, they drove in 
the enemy's outposts. The fields in front of the Three Bullet 
Gate, and the space inside the gate itself, were strongly held by 
the enemy, who numbered in all 1 200, General Johnson being 
in supreme command. As the rebels advanced they were met 
by a heavy fire from some guns placed near the gate. How- 
ever, Kelly, reinforced by Cloney, and now having perhaps 
nearly 2000 under his command, continued to advance, and, 
entering the gate, was severely handled by some soldiers posted 
there, who opened a damaging cross fire. Still the rebels 
advanced, driving the enemy before them through the town 
and across the wooden bridge to the Kilkenny side of the 
Barrow. Two parties of Johnson's men still maintained their 
positions, one under Major Vandeleur at Irishtown, another at 
the market-house. And now, instead of the assailants following 
up the advantage gained and dislodging these two parties, they 
sought the public-houses for drink, which some of them too 
freely consumed. The others, fearing a return of Johnson's 
main body, and insufficiently supported by Harvey, who had 
sent them no reinforcements, retraced their steps and once 
more took up a position at the Three Bullet Gate. A second 
time they advanced, taking with them a howitzer ; but being 
unable to dislodge Vandeleur or those at the market-house, 
they again fell back. By this time some of the rebels in the 
town were drunk, and Johnson, recrossing the bridge, fell upon 
them, killed many, and drove the remainder back, and it seemed 
as if the hard-fought contest which had now lasted for hours 
Vol. Ill 75 



(><> i in-: i.i Bl i.i K 1N Ol 1 79S 

But the rebel not >-■ -t conquered, and after 

' 1 little at the Diree Bullet Gate, they renewed the 

tin drove Jol men before them through 

the town <m I .1 the rh They had shown the most 

p 1 itc i alour. Regardless of the fire of the enemy's cannon, 

the) marched up to the very mouths of the guns. Again, 

iii their valour was d ed by intemperance. Their 

gallant leader, Kelly, also fell mortally wounded, and this 
spread I panic even among those who were sob Johnson 
to >k advantage of their helplessness, and recrossing the Harrow, 
charged with all his strength, killed many who were too drunk 
to resist, drove the remainder before him through the Three 
Bullet Gate, and after the most obstinate contest of the whole 
war — a contest which had lasted in all for twelve hours — New 
Ross remained in the hands of the English. Lord Mountjoy 
and 230 others fell on the English side. On the side of the 
rebels, who at no time exceeded 5000, the number who fell is 
put as low as 500 and as high as 2000, and could not be 
accurately ascertained. Many fell in actual battle, many 
while intoxicated, others fell in the pursuit, and not a few 
of these were non-combatants. With these losses, and the 
loss of some of their guns, the rebels returned to Carrickbyrne 
Hill. 1 

In the north of the county they did better than at New 
Ross. On the 3rd of June General Loftus arrived at Gorey 
with I 500 men and five pieces of artillery. Colonel Walpole 
also came with reinforcements from Carnew ; and with this 
strong force Loftus, on the morning of the 4th, determined to 
attack the rebels at Corrigrua Hill, and perhaps break up the 
rebellion in Wexford. From Gorey his force marched in two 
divisions, the larger part under himself by Ballycanew r , the 
smaller part under Walpole by Camolin. Somewhere near 
Camolin they were to join hands and fall in strength on the 
enemy. But the rebels had got secret information as to these 
movements, and leaving Loftus unmolested, they marched 

1 Gordon, pp. 14 1-7 ; Hay, pp. 141-6 ; Cloney, pp. 35-43 ; Taylor, pp. 
78-90. Taylor puts the rebel loss at 7000, manifestly a gross exaggeration. 



TUBBERNEERING 6) 

towards Gorey, with the design oi Intercepting Walpole. 'I he 

latter officer was self-conceited, olr.t inate and iri( < imprtent , ;md 
in spite of all remonstrance from hi . felloWH »fli« I I , he ad\an< ed 

along the road in close column, without employing scouts or 
skirmishers. Suddenly, at a place called Tubberneering, he 
encountered the* rebels in strong force. They had lain con 
cealed in the fields of com and behind the hedges which skirted 

the road, and when Walpole's force had reached a spot where 
there were high ditches topped with hedges On each side of the 
road, the rebels opened a murderous fire. Walpole himself v. 
instantly shot down ; many of his officers and men shared 
his fate ; his guns were taken and turned with fatal effect 
against the survivors, a remnant only of whom escaped with 
all speed to Gorey, through which they hurried on to Arklow, 
leaving all their guns in the enemy's hands. Loftus, who was 
marching parallel to Walpole and near enough to hear the report 
of the firing at Tubberneering, had sent 70 of his men across 
the country as a small reinforcement ; but their fate was that of 
Walpole's men, and every man of them was either killed or 
taken prisoner. Unable himself to reach Tubberneering in 
time, and unable to carry out his plans, now that Walpole had 
failed, Loftus retraced his steps ; but finding Gorey already- 
occupied by the enemy, who were strongly posted there and 
in possession of all the guns it contained, he made a cross 
march to Carnew, where, however, he considered himself in 
danger, and retreated still further to Tullow in Carlow, leaving 
both Gorey and Carnew to his foes. 1 

Had the rebels followed up their victory, Arklow would 
have fallen into their hands, for the garrison fled panic-stricken 
to Wicklow. The latter town, as well as Bray, could have 
been easily captured, and the rebel army, swollen by great 
accessions from Wicklow and other counties, would soon have 
been thundering at the gates of Dublin. But they wasted 
their time at Gorey plundering and punishing their enemies, 
and not until the 7th of June were they at Arklow. By that 

1 Gordon, pp. 138-40; Maxwell, pp. 109-n; Hay, pp. 138-40; 
Halliday Pamphlets, No. 739, pp. 40-41. 



1 ill ri i.i l l [ON 01 '79« 

:• rdni i. had h.ni sent by the Government .it 

Dublin, and Arklow y held by 1600 men, with 

abu i trim and heavy gum. General Needham was 

in chlel i »mmand, hi cond being Colonel Skerret The 
under Fat ei ■ fohn and Michael Murphy and Mr. 
Edmond Kyan. Pi ibundanf It i. laid that 5000 

were KHIie heavy ;miiis, and Kyan knew 

lomething about their manage m e n t The whole force, accord- 
to Gordon, was 27,000 ; but he could not know this accu- 
rately — it wa I I random guess and in such a narrow space 
■ number of men could not at any time have been 
effectually engaged. Certainly they vastly outnumbered the 
English, and it is also certain that they attacked with great 
resolution. One column advancing by the sea road captured 
all the enemy's advanced positions and drove them in confusion 
across the river into the town. But reinforcements were 
hurried up ; the English guns played with destructive effect on 
the advancing masses, and the rebels were unable to cross the 
river and so turn the enemy's left wing, as they had intended 
to do. A fiercer contest raged on the Gorey road and in the 
fields adjoining. Under Father Michael Murphy dense masses 
of the rebels made repeated charges ; the guns were so 
effectively handled by Kyan that some of the English guns 
had been put out of action, and the English left wing at this 
point had been driven from its position. Matters became so 
serious that Needham was about to sound a retreat. But 
Skerret persuaded him to continue the fight, and when Father 
Murphy, charging at the head of his column, was shot dead, 
the rebels lost courage and retreated, leaving Arklow in Eng- 
lish hands. Though the contest lasted from four o'clock until 
late in the evening, and was very determined on both sides, 
the losses were not great. Gordon puts the rebel loss at 300, 
that on the English side being " very small." 1 

In all these contests the insurgents had shown conspicuous 
courage, and Castlereagh declared he could never have believed 

1 Gordon, pp. 154-8. Taylor (p. 135), always prone to exaggerate, 
puts the rebel loss at "not less than 1000." 



8CULLAB4 KJl i \m> w i KFORD 69 

that untrained peasants could have fotlghl K) well. 1 But 

cowardice and cruelty were not sltogethei wanting. 'II 
who had .it an early stage of the fight run away from New 
Rosa brought the news to Scullabogue, ; 1 1 the foot ol ( irrick- 

byrne Mill, that the English were victorious, and were mure 

ing all the Irish prisoners in their hands. In revenge, they 

showed an order from one of their leaders commanding that 

the prisoners detained in Scullabogue barn should be instantly 

executed. The guards refused to obey the order — in reality 
it was forged — but they were overpo w e r ed and the barn set on 
fire. A few of the prisoners emerged into the open but were 
at once piked ; the remainder were roasted alive. Gordon 
puts the total number murdered at 200, May at less than 80 ; 
and the latter account is the more probable, as the barn was 
but 34 feet long and 1 5 wide. It was a cruel and cowardly 
act, quite unworthy of the Wexfordmcn, and by every man 
of honour in the rebellion was regarded with horror.'- At 
Vinegar Hill the prisoners taken were brought before a 
tribunal, and after some form of trial were put to death. 
There were cases where the intervention of the priests saved 
the prisoners, and there were cases where those put to death 
had been guilty of great cruelties ; but there must have been 
many cases where no such cruelty could be proved. 3 Similar 
scenes were enacted at Wexford, where a sea-captain named 
Dixon, aided by his wife, who was as cruel as himself, succeeded 
for a short time in establishing a reign of terror. Exaggerat- 
ing the cruelties of the Protestants, he roused the passions of 
the people to madness ; overawed the governor of the town, 
Captain Keough, a man of humanity, and with the worst of 
the mob at his heels he broke open the prisons, and in one 
day, the 20th of June, put 97 to death. The prisoners were 
marched to the bridge, their crimes enumerated, and then 
two men in front and two behind pierced their bodies with 
pikes and flung them into the sea. Many more would have 

1 Castlereagh Correspondence, i. 219; Lecky, iv. 401. 

2 Gordon, pp. 145-7; Hay, pp. 148-51; Lecky, iv. 394-5; Taylor, 
pp. 91-99. 3 Gordon, pp. 166-9. 



70 i m it i.i i lion ok 1798 

been thui murdered but tor the Intervention of a priest, Father 

I urran, who rushed into the crowd, threw himself on his kin 
And Induced the people to do the same, and then prayed in 
their name that God would show them the same mercy which 
they would ihow to the surviving pritoners. 1 

Thoroughly alarmed at the formidable chaiaeter of the 

Rebellion, and dreading th.it the whole country might be lost if 

only a French force were landed at Wexford, the Irish Govern- 
ment made great efforts to extinguish the fire which they 
themselves had set aflame. On the 19th of June, General 
Wedham advanced from Arklow to Gorey, and thence to 
Oulart Hill; Johnson drove Father Roche from Lacken Hill, 
and then advanced on the 20th to Bloomfield near Ennis- 
corthy ; General Duff came from Newtownbarry to Scarawalsh, 
where he was joined by Loftus and Dundas, the latter having 
come from Baltinglass. Lake in supreme command advanced 
south by the banks of the Slaney, and fixed his headquarters 
at Solsborough. The rebels from Lacken Hill retreated to 
Three Rocks ; all others except those who garrisoned Wexford 
abandoned the positions they held and hastened to concentrate 
their strength on Vinegar Hill. Some of their chiefs proposed 
on the night of the 20th to fall on Lake at Solsborough, and 
had this been done, it is not unlikely that he would have been 
overwhelmed and the whole enveloping movement would have 
come to nothing. But the proposal was not adopted, and on 
the 2 1st the rebel army was attacked. Johnson captured 
Enniscorthy after an obstinate contest, and then took a leading 
part in the attack on Vinegar Hill. The rebels were probably 
more numerous than their opponents, and not less brave, and 
for nearly two hours they maintained the contest. But against 
14,000 trained soldiers under experienced officers, and with an 
abundance of artillery, they were unequally matched ; and they 
broke and fled towards Wexford, leaving thirteen small cannon 
to the enemy, and between 500 and 600 dead on the field of 
battle. The slaughter would have been much greater had not 

1 Gordon, pp. 180-83 ; Hay, pp. 202-14 ; Jacksorts Narrative ; Taylor, 
pp. 165-71. 



OUTBREAKS in ANTRIM AND DOWN 71 

Necdham failed tO come uj) in time, K) lli.tt the rCDClfl W{ ie 

able to break through. That same day YWxford surrendered 
to Genera] Moore, who had advanced from Duncannon, and on 
the previous day had defeated Father Roche at Fooki Mill. 1 

Meantime! there had been partial outbreaks in Antiiin and 

Down. The rebels, led by MacCrac ken, attacked Antrim on 

the /til of June, and with difficulty weie diiven off after an 
obstinate Contest. A few days later Mac( 'i acken wa*. <aptured 
and put to death. Another body of rebels took Saintfield and 
Newtownards ; but a third body were defeated with heavy loss 
at Ballinahinch by General Nugent Their leader, Monroe, 
was taken prisoner and executed at Lisburn." Nothing further 
was done in Ulster. The Government, regularly forewarned 
of everything by informers, had been able to anticipate the 
rebels and defeat them ; and by defeating those in arms 
they discouraged others from joining in the rebellion. The 
character of the insurrection also in Wexford reawakened the 
Ulstermen's hatred of popery. They would have no share in a 
cause which was controlled by priests ; and such was the change 
among them, that on the 14th of June 6000 Presbyterians at 
Omagh volunteered to serve against the Wexford rebels. 3 

The strength of these rebels was now broken, and after 
the disasters which had overtaken them they divided into two 
bodies. The larger, under Father John Murphy, passed into 
Carlow through Scollagh Gap, on the 22nd of June, their 
design being to rouse Kilkenny. Their passage of the Barrow 
was disputed near Goresbridge by the Wexford Militia, whom 
they defeated, many of the militia deserting to them. On the 
24th they plundered Castlecomer, but were disappointed at 
receiving such little support from the colliers there, and turning 
north into the Queen's County, they were pursued by Sir 
Charles Askill, who had hurried up from Kilkenny with 
1600 men. The rebels retraced their steps, and at Kilcomney 
Hill in Carlow were overtaken on the 26th by Askill and 
defeated, with the loss of ten pieces of cannon and 1000 men. 

1 Gordon, pp. 1 64-6, 1 7 5 ; Maxwell, pp. 139-40, 144-7 ; Sir John Moore's 
Diary, i. 295-9. 2 Lecky, iv. 416-22. 3 Ibid. 415. 



l in n Bl Ji i< >n 01 1 79H 

Theii leader, Father Murphy, wai ihortl) after taken prisoner 
ed .it Tullow , the nirvivori returned to Wexford and 

di^; ' A small body of only 500 under Perry were pro 

ling to tlu- Wicklow mountains, hut hearing that the 

■n of I had just wantonly butchen d 50 unarmed 

and Inoffensive peasants near that town, they attacked and 

d them, and In revenge put 37 of the friends of Govcrn- 
it t< > death. 

Uniting his lone with the Wicklowmen under Garret 
u, Perry, on the 25th of June, attacked Hacketstown, 

but he failed to dislodge the garrison, though he burned the 

town. Byrne, aided by a skilful leader named Holt, continued 
the stni jglc, and on the 20th of June defeated the Ancient 
Britons .it Ballyallis with great slaughter, and ten days later a 
body of 1 50 yeomen at Ballyrahen Mill near Carlow. 4 A portion 
of this force now returned to Wexford and dispersed ; another 
portion under Aylmer maintained the fight in Wicklow and 
Kildare ; while a third body under Fitzgerald, Perry and 
Father Kearns marched through Kildare, Meath and Louth, 
and then back through Dublin to Kildare. Their hope was 
that the counties through which they passed would have risen, 
but in this they were disappointed. Their encounters with the 
enemy had been frequent, their sufferings great, their strength 
gradually diminished ; and when they reached Kildare, in the 
middle of July, they dispersed to their homes. Fitzgerald 
returned with them, but Kerans and Perry had been taken 
prisoners and executed.' 

Had Lake, after Vinegar Hill, been willing to pardon the 
rank and file of the rebels, even while punishing the leaders, 
there is no doubt that the surrender of Wexford would have 
ended the war. But he would make no distinction between 
the leaders who had planned the Rebellion and those who had 
been forced into it ; between men like Keough who had acted 
with humanity and savages like Dixon. When Father Roche, 
seeing the futility of further resistance, came in from Three 

1 Cloney, pp. 81-87. 2 Gordon, pp. 190-92. 

3 Ibid. 205-7. 4 Ibid. 209-11. 5 Teeling, pp. 276-83. 



< wihF.N SUCCEEDED BY CORNWALLIS 7.5 

Rocks to Wexford to offer terms of surrender, h< w upon 

l))- the soldiers, kicked and beaten beyond recog n ition, and 

then hanged at Wexford Bridge In the same place were 

executed Captain Keough, Harvey, John Kelly and an old 
gentleman named Grogan, who walked with crutches to the 
gallows. The bodies were thrown into the river, the hes 

being cut off and placed on pikes over the court house door, 
Mr. Kelly's head having been first kicked through the street i 
I))- the soldiers. 1 Elsewhere the same savage spirit was shown. 
After Kilcomney Hill, Asgill slaughtered the inoffending 
peasants as well as the rebels. In Gorey nine bodies of th< 

slaughtered by the soldiers were found half- eaten by pigs. 

Destruction of property, burning of houses and of Catholic 

churches were common. The Hessians acquired an infamous 
notoriety for these plunderings, and the Hompesch dragoons 
for their outrages on women." There was no law but martial 
law. The conversation even at the Viceregal table was all 
about hanging, shooting and burning, and special delight was 
shown at the news that a priest had been put to death. And, 
strangely enough, the only one in high office who showed 
humanity and moderation was Lord Clare. 3 

This was the condition of Ireland when, on the 20th of June, 
Camden left Dublin and was succeeded as Viceroy by Lord 
Cornwallis. Without any desire to shield the guilty, Cornwallis 
disapproved of the lawlessness and violence of the soldiery, and 
thinking it better to have justice tempered with mercy, he issued 
a proclamation, early in July, authorizing generals to grant 
pardons to those who laid down their arms, forsook their 
leaders, and took the oath of allegiance. A fortnight later an 
Act was passed granting an amnesty to all rebels but a few. 
Lake was superseded at Wexford by General Hunter, a kindly 
and humane man ; and it was ordered that no sentence of a 
court-martial should be carried out until the evidence had first 
been submitted to the Government at Dublin. Under the in- 
fluence of these milder measures, Fitzgerald, Aylmer and Barret 

1 Hay, pp. 238-40. 2 Ibid. 234-5. 

3 Cornwallis Co?'?-esfto?idence i ii. 355-8, 369. 



.4 THE REBELLION OP I } 

i Garrett Byrne surrendered and were pardoned; Hackeit 

i oi ■ predatory band and was killed 

in v < .uid though Holt still held out in Wicklow, be 

lurrendered, and transported to New South 

In Dublin, meanwhile, a High Commi tion court was 1 trying 

the United Irish Directory; and | ure conviction the 

d. Ai matron ik i ceded in bringing 

the two Sh earca es to the scafTold, and Reynolds helped to 

convict M. id ann, Byrne and Bond, aim was hanged on 

the 19th of July; the execution of Byrne was fixed for the 
25th, and that of Bond f<>r the following day. But on the 
night of the 24th the other State prisoners offered to disclose 
all about the United Irish conspiracy, and to submit to being 
banished to any country at peace with England, if only their 
own lives and the lives of Byrne and Bond were spared. 
While these overtures were being considered, Byrne was 
executed and Bond died in prison. The Speaker, Sir John 
Parnell, and others were against making any terms with the 
prisoners ; but Lord Clare was on the side of clemency, and his 
influence was so powerful that he carried the day ; and in 
August, before a Committee of the Houses of Parliament, 
O'Connor, Emmet and Macnevin gave the fullest information, 
without, however, incriminating individuals, for this was specially 
stipulated. 2 After an interval, some of the lesser men were 
sent to Botany Bay, while twenty of the chief men were sent in 
March 1799 to Fort George in Scotland, where they were 
detained until 1 802. 3 Ultimately both Macnevin and Emmet 
rose to high positions in the United States, and O'Connor 
became a general in the French army. 

One of the reasons why the State prisoners submitted was 
that France had sent them no assistance, and apparently never 
would. 4 Lewins begged hard for 5000 men while Wexford 
was in arms, 5 but he begged in vain ; and now, when the 
Rebellion was crushed, news arrived in Dublin that a French 

1 Holfs Memoirs. 2 Cornwallis Correspondence, ii. 371-81, 384. 

3 Ibid. iii. 78. 4 Madden, iii. 60-61. 5 Guillon, pp. 359-61. 



HUMBERT'S INVJl i 75 

force had landed at Kill. da on the -'-Mid of Augll The 

French Directory were really unable t<> sent! .1 \m-yv arm\,a. 
tlu-ir retourcei had been strained i>y the expedition to Egypt 

Their plan was to send small det.w hm< nt I tO Ireland, 10 that 
the (lame of insurrection might !><• kept kindled until then- M 
time to send a larger force. 1 General ilnml>ert was tO ail 

from kochelle with i ooo men, General Hardy from Brest with 

3000, while General Kilmaine was to have a reserve army ol 
9OOO, and was to sail when Humbert and Hardy had made 
some progress. Co-operation was essential if success was to be 
gained. But Humbert, impatient of delay, refused tO wait, and 
after compelling the merchants of Kochelle to advance him 
some money, he sailed from that port and arrived at Killala on 
the 22nd of August. Neither there nor at Ballina did he meet 
with any effective resistance, and leaving garrisons at both 
places, he hurried on to Castlebar, which he attacked on the 
morning of the 27th of August. General Lake was in supreme 
command, with General Hutchinson next. The former had 
arrived only the previous evening. Hutchinson had hurried on 
from Galway and arrived some days before, and thinking that 
the French would advance by Foxford, he sent forward a strong 
force under General Taylor to intercept them ; but Humbert, 
turning to the west, made his way by the mountain road 
which passed the Windy Gap. His army was little more than 
700, and he had only a few horses and two light guns. With 
him also were about 500 peasants, whom he had armed, but 
who were of little use in battle. The English had about 1 700 
men, cavalry and infantry, several pieces of cannon, abundance 
of supplies, and a position of great advantage on the rising 
ground north of the town. But their resistance was poor. 
The guns were indeed well handled, and Lord Roden's cavalry 
made a stand, as did a few others, at the bridge in the town ; 
the remainder took to flight, and some few of the Kilkenny 
Militia deserted to the enemy. Many hundreds of prisoners 
and all the cannon were taken, and the French, entering the 
town, procured a few horses and pursued the English cavalry, 

1 Guillon, pp. 368-71. 



mi REBELLION 01 '79 s 

who rode rapidly throu fh the town, nor halted till they 
Outside Castlebar, Lord Roden'i Fencibles 
• l about and shot ■ few «»i their pursuers dead* The battle 
is known ai the l< i tlebar, and the place where the 

Frenchmen fell hai ever been known as French Hill. 1 

Humbert endeavoured to organize ■ government for Con naught; 
but be was unable to rouse the country round, and abandoned 

tlebar i>n the 4th Of September, marching towards SligO. 
He wai overtaken on the 8th by Cornwallis and Lake, with 
an army of 20,000 men, and compelled to surrender at 
Ballinamuck in Longford. The French soldiers were treated as 
prisoners of war and sent back to France. Their Irish allies 
were slaughtered without mercy ; and Tone and Teeling, 
two Irishmen who held the rank of French officers, and as 
such had come from France, were tried by court-martial and 
hanged." 

Eight days after the surrender of Humbert, Napper Tandy 
and a few followers landed from France at Donegal ; but 
without men or money they could do nothing, and were glad to 
escape the English vessels, and reached Norway. On the 20th 
of the same month, Hardy's expedition, with Wolfe Tone on 
board the Hoclie, sailed from Brest. Once again the winds 
favoured England, and the French vessels were separated at 
sea. Some were attacked and disabled by an English naval 
force under Admiral Warren, and the Hoclie and others were 
captured. Tone was tried by court-martial and sentenced 
to be hanged, the only request he made being that, as a 
French officer, he should be shot. When this request was 
refused he cut his throat in his cell. 3 Before the end of the 
year Holt surrendered, and the Rebellion of 1798 was at 
an end. 

1 Guillon, pp. 380-85 ; Cornwallis Correspondence, ii. 409-10; Stock's 
Narrative. 

2 Guillon, pp. 387-8, 396-407 ; Cornwallis Correspondence, iii. 2, 11 ; 
Teeling, pp. 303-8 ; Maxwell, pp. 234-6. 

3 Guillon, pp. 407-12. 



CHAPTER IV 

The I hi ion 

WllKN Cromwell became Lord Protector of England in 1653, 
the Instrument of Government placed the legislative power of 
Great Britain and Ireland in his hands jointly with a Parlia- 
ment of 460 members, 400 of whom were English, 30 Scotch, 
and 30 Irish. Catholics were ineligible to sit in Parliament, 
or even to vote for its members, and the 30 Irish who sat in 
the United Parliaments of 1654-1656 and 1658 were cither 
officers of Cromwell's army or his personal friends. 1 

It does not appear that the mass of the Irish Protestants 
approved of this arrangement, and when the Irish Parliament 
was restored with the restoration of the Stuarts, no voice in 
Ireland was raised in protest, and for many years none to 
favour a legislative Union except Sir William Petty.' 2 The 
Jacobite war, the confiscations which followed, the asserted 
claim of the English Parliament to legislate for Ireland, 
and the character of some of its legislation, effected a change. 
All power was then in the hands of a minority Protestant in 
religion and English in sympathy, who held possession of 
confiscated Catholic lands, had driven the Catholics from Parlia- 
ment, and were oppressing them by penal laws ; and living in 
the midst of a hostile population, this Protestant minority 
looked to England alone for a continuance of the privileges 
and security of their lands. With representatives in a United 
Parliament they would have the full right of English citizen- 
ship, nor would such an assembly prevent the importation of 
Irish cattle into England, or destroy the Irish woollen trade. 
It was considerations such as these which prompted Molyneux 
1 Lingard, vol. viii. 202 ; Mountmorres, ii. 243-4. 2 Lecky, v. 121. 

77 



78 i hk UNION 

to wish t- ttive Union ai ■ happiness too good to be 

hop tnd tin* Irish Parliament to petition for it In 1703 

I in 1707 as something which would add additional lustre 
to the 

rhc <• advances, however, were coldly received, and for more 
than ha ntury only the obscure names of Madden and Dobbs 

I . renew thfl Appeal of Union. A greater name 
than tl that of Adam Smith, who thought it but just 

that Ireland should contribute to the public debt of Great 
Britain, which to some extent had been incurred on her behalf; 
who believed that Ireland would gain considerably by a union 

with Great Britain, and that without such a union "the 
inhabitants of Ireland are not likely for many ages to consider 
themselves as one people. 

It was sal 1 that Lord Rochford refused to accept the Irish 
Viceroyalty in 1776 unless he were allowed to repeal the penal 
laws and carry a measure of legislative union, and it is certain 
that such a union was favoured by the Duke of Rutland, 4 who 
was Irish Viceroy from 1784 to 1787, and who declared that 
without a union Ireland would be separated from England in 

than twenty years. The action of the Irish Parliament in 
the questions of the Commercial Propositions and on the regency 
caused Rutland's views to find favour with many English 
statesmen, who, like him, began to fear that an independent Irish 
Parliament was inconsistent with the integrity of the empire. 
Pitt himself favoured union even in 1792. in the years that 
followed his opinion on the subject remained unchanged, and 
when the Rebellion had made Ireland helpless, he seized the 
opportunity for which he had waited and had no difficulty in 
obtaining the support of the British Parliament. 

In Ireland his task was not so easy, for the century which 
had passed since the days of Molyneux witnessed a complete 
change in Irish opinion. Time had softened ancient enmities. 
Those who fought at the Boyne and Aughrim were long since 
gone, and a generation lived to whom these fierce contests 

1 "Case Stated," pp. 97-98. 2 Covunons* Journal, iii. 45. 

3 Wealth of Nations, p. 757. 4 Lecky, v. 125-32. 



A UNION UNPOPULAR 

weir but a memory, The gulf thai separated Protestant and 
Catholic had become le The Parliament which had fa hioned 
the penal code had learned toleration, and, retracing iti iteps, 
had repealed the greater part of that same code. TheCath< 
was still poor, but he could practise his religion without 
hindrance, possess his property in peace, and though yet 
debarred from sitting in Parliament, could vote for Its 
members. Ceasing to be • persecutor! the Protestant landlord 
found his Catholic tenants inoffensive and faithful, and could 
often count on their passionate attachment. The descendants 
of Williamitc and Cromwellian had come to regard Ireland 

and not England as their country, and with much of a patri< 
pride. It was they who had formed the Volunteer army and 
made the Irish Parliament free. They remembered that to the 
English Parliament they owed the destruction of their trade. 
On the other hand, the Irish Parliament was their own. With 
all its defects, it had shown public spirit ; much of its later 
legislation was marked by wisdom ; its debates were conducted 
on a high level ; not a few of its members were men of ability 
and even of genius, who would have shed lustre on the first 
deliberative assembly in the world ; and since 1782, when the 
Parliament became for the first time a reality, the prosperity 
of the country had advanced with giant strides. In face of 
these facts, the Irishman who would propose to abolish this 
Parliament and turn his face to a British assembly would be 
regarded as a public enemy in Ireland, both by Protestant and 
Catholic, and even as early as 1785 the Duke of Rutland 
thought he would stand a good chance of being tarred and 
feathered if he proposed a union. 1 This was the state of public 
opinion when the Rebellion of 1798 opened. 

In the Union debates it was often asserted on one side that 
the settlement of 1782 was a final adjustment, and this was 
denied as strongly on the other side. And yet, if language has 
any meaning at all, those who affirmed were right ; especially 
when the settlement of 1782 was supplemented by the Renuncia- 
tion Act of the following year. But though the British 
1 Rutland Correspondence, iii. 1 36. 



1 III I \l< .\ 

Parliament abandoned its claim to legislate foi Ireland, there 

que i -us that might well have been the subject 

'•ituiti tiation and I definition questions of trade, 

policy, of Ireland's contribution to imperial purposes j 

and had these questions Ix-m explicitly settled In 1782, the 
Irish Parliament might have prolonged Its existence, and with 

both t«> Ireland and to (neat Britain. Th< 

questions might have been settled had there not been on the 

English side a selfish commercial jealousy, and on the Irish 

.1 ative dread that its newly- acquired rights were being 

invaded ; and in the case of Orde's proposition and again on 
the Regency Bill these causes operated for evil. The English 
manufacturers induced Pitt to so modify the commercial 
propositions that they became less acceptable in Ireland. 
Grattan regarded them as an attack on the Irish Constitu- 
tion ; l compromise and conciliation were wanting, and a great 
opportunity for a permanent peace was lost. And in the 
Regency Bill Irish legislators were induced to take the action 
they did, not for the sake of the Prince of Wales, but rather 
because they wished to assert their independence. 

The consequences were disastrous. Even in their amended 
form Pitt expected the commercial propositions would have 
been accepted by the Irish Parliament, and was angry because 
they had not been ; and his anger grew after the dispute on 
the regency. He had already begun to retract the liberal 
professions of his earlier years, and horrified by the excesses 
of the French Revolution, he conceived a disgust for popular 
rights, and had become a coercionist and a reactionary. Auto- 
cratic and overbearing, with the British Parliament subservient 
to his every wish, he would have no real reform of the Irish 
Parliament, dreading that such an assembly would clash with 
the Parliament of Great Britain ; and after the events of 1785 
and 1789, he gradually drifted to the conviction that the safety 
of the empire depended on a legislative union. Such a union 
would undoubtedly have been hindered by the grant of Catholic 
emancipation, and would be helped by a rebellion ; and the 
1 Rutland Correspondence ; iii. 233. 



PITT F( »!• \ UNION Si 

charge has been made thai Pitt actually provoked tin Rebellion 
of 1798 for t In- purpose of carrying the Union, a charge which 
Mr. Lecky thinks too wildly extravagant to require refutation. 1 

And yet, let the facts be remembered and the ac< usation ck 
not appear to be so extravagant After the hopes rai ted by 
Fitzwilliam had been disappointed, Pit1 saw that Catholics were 

deeply mortified, and that large numbers had beco m e United 

irishmen, He knew and approved of the illegalities of 
Carhampton and Lake, of the outrages of the Orangemen, of 
the Stirring up by the Irish Government of religious animosities ; 
and if there was to be no Parliamentary reform or Catholic 
Emancipation, no redress of admitted and glaring grievances, if 
corruption and virulence and illegality were to continue, he must 
have expected that from such causes the effect would be rebellion. 
The man who deliberately does an evil act is plainly culpable, 
but so also is he who does something from which an evil act will 
certainly follow — as between the two the culpability is merely a 
matter of degree ; and if Pitt's guilt in regard to the Rebellion 
is not of the former character, it is at least of the latter. 

At what precise period Pitt's colleagues in the Ministry 
were brought to adopt his views on the Union does not 
appear; but when the Rebellion of 1798 was over, Pitt 
himself believed that the moment for action had come. He 
was able to bend his colleagues to his own imperious will, 
and Cornwallis, on his arrival in Ireland, was directed to 
quietly feel his way and ascertain on what extent of Irish 
support he could rely. Cornwallis himself was a convinced 
Unionist from the first. Lord Clare, who told the electors 
of Trinity College in 1782 that "he had always been of 
opinion that the claims of the British Parliament to make 
laws for this country is a daring usurpation on the rights 
of a free people," 2 was now for a Union, and had even 
urged his Unionist views on the English Ministry for years. 
Lord Castlereagh, who as a patriot told the Down electors 
in 1790 that he loved the cause of the people, and that 

1 Lecky, v. 145. 
2 O' Flanagan, Lives of the Irish Lord Chancellors, ii. 166. 
Vol. Ill 76 



8j I mi i \|. .\ 

h I the 'itutiou "with that ardour of .dhetion 

whi ithtul heart dictates and which your generous 

■maud 1 1 now a tttu tionary and .1 coercionlst, 

and in complete sympathy with ( lare'i vie Mr. [saa< 

M P., a patriot t Uf, had al.o tuirxd his co.it, 

had Lord Yelverton, Lords Shannon and Ely ; 

Mi md Mr. John Bereaford were also tor Union; 

ii, a, borough -Owners, commanded many votes 

in Parliament Lords Kilwarden .md Carieton, two judges, 

[tating and doubtful, >n\(\ SO also was Lord l'ery, 
who, a, Mr Sexton l'ery, had filled for many years the office 

speaker, while the Duke of Leinlter would give no opinion. 2 
Some of the Protestants favoured the measure, fearful that if 
Catholic Emancipation were granted without a Union, Parlia- 
mentary reform would follow and give the Catholics an 
ascendancy in the Irish Parliament ; the Protestant landlords 
especially, dreading such a contingency, trembled for their 
privileges and their lands. The Catholics, on the other 
hand, had lost all hope of getting justice from the Irish 
Parliament, which had shown itself so bigoted and so corrupt, 
and favoured a Union, as it would free them from Orange 
ascendancy ; and Dr. Troy and Lords Kenmare and Fingal 
were early on the Unionist side. 3 Finally, the Ulster linen 
manufacturers, knowing that free trade with Great Britain 
would enrich them and that a Union would be accompanied 
by free trade, were in favour of a legislative Union. 4 

But all this did not foreshadow that a majority in the 
Irish Parliament, still less outside it, were on the side of Clare 
and Castlereagh. After all, a few linen manufacturers, thinking 
only of pecuniary advantages for themselves, did not express 
the feeling of Ulster Presbyterianism. Dr. Troy and Lords 
Kenmare and Fingal were not the stamp of men whom the 
Catholic masses would select to represent them in any political 

1 Grattarts Life, iv. 465. 2 Lecky, v. 159-60. 

8 Ingram, pp. 85-86; Comwallis Correspondence, iii. 8; Castlereagh 
Correspondence, ii. 36, 172. 
4 Lecky, v. 172. 



COOKE'S PAMPHLI i 

matter. Not all the Protestants thought that there 
danger to their privilege! or estates from an Irish Parliament! 
even if a few Catholics were admitted as members. Beresford 
and Connolly, and Lords Ely and Shannon, would certainly 

command some votes, hut these were only a small proportion 

oi" Hie borough owners. Cony and Yelvrrton represented only 

themselves, and as for Clare and Castlereagh, they could 

command the full Strength of pensioners and placemen, which 
was a good deal, and they had the resources of Government 
at their back, but beyond this they could not go. 

The Government were anxious to obtain a majority, who 
would vote rather from conviction than from interest, and with 
the object of convincing the unconvinced, a pamphlet was 
published in the end of 1798 with the title: Arguments 
for and against a Union between Great Britain and Ireland. 
It was published anonymously, but it was soon known that its 
author was the Under-Secretary Cooke, and that it had been 
published with the sanction and approval of Government, and 
might be taken as the official statement of the Unionist case. 
It was an able statement, which omitted no point that could 
tell, and in turn appealed to every interest. It was a time, 
Cooke said, which called for a closer union with Great Britain, 
seeing that both Ireland and Great Britain were equally 
menaced by the all-devouring ambition of France. Such a 
Union as was contemplated would end jealousies and rivalries 
between the two Parliaments ; it would end exceptional legisla- 
tion for either country, as both countries would henceforth be 
governed by the same code of laws ; it would secure Protestants 
in their lands and privileges, and preserve the Protestant Church 
from a Catholic ascendancy, which would surely follow from 
a reform of the Irish Parliament. At the same time, it 
would leave the Catholics such rights as they already had, 
obtain Government provisions for their clergy with a com- 
mutation of tithes, and leave the door open for further con- 
cessions. Such a Union would foster trade by freely admitting 
Irish goods to all the markets open to Great Britain ; it 
■would attract British capital to Ireland, and thus develop her 



mi UNION 

mrces j and the example oi Scotch Union was advanced 
to show what advantage! such a Union had brought in its 
train. 1 

It will be seen that much Ol this Win prophecy, and 
prophecy is not argument, nor did the pamphlet make many 

converts, but on the contrary helped to disclose the forces of 

( Ippotitlon. The Bar met in December, and under the 
leadership of Mr. Saurin a resolution was carried by 1 66 
to 3 2 9 declaring that "a legislative Union was an innovation 
which it would be highly dangerous and improper to propose 
at the present juncture."' - ' The attorneys followed the lead 
of the barrist The magistrates and Common Council, with 

the merchants and bankers of Dublin, expressed their abhor- 
rence of a measure which would deprive the Irish people "of 
their constitutional right and immediate power of legislating 
for themselves." The fellows and students of Trinity College 
called upon their representatives to oppose any such measure ; 
and the gentry and freeholders of Dublin, Westmeath and 
Galway were equally strong, the Galway men denying the 
power of the Irish Parliament to vote away the independence 
of the nation, and describing the Unionists as enemies to their 
country. 3 Foster, the Speaker, threw the immense weight 
of his abilities and experience into the Anti-Unionist scale, 
as did also Sir John Parnell, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
and FitzGerald, the Prime Sergeant ; and among the lawyers 
on the same side was every man who shone at the Bar. 
One of the ablest of them, Bushe, answered Cooke in a 
pamphlet, Cease your funning, and an Anti- Unionist paper 
was started in Dublin, the chief contributors to which were 
Grattan, Bushe, Burrowes and Plunkett ; the two latter, like 
Bushe, men of the finest intellect. 4 Lord Ely, the borough- 
owner, who had been in favour of the Union, now changed 

1 Arguments for and against a Union Considered (Fourth edition). 
Dublin, 1799. 

2 Cornwallis Correspondence, iii. 18 ; Grattan' s Life, v. 16. 

3 Coote, History of the Union, pp. 28-30. Dublin, 1802. 
* Piunketfs Life, i. 1 14-15, 124. 



I III ADDRESS IN J 799 85 

sides and told Cast lcrc.i; Ji th.it its only idvOCfttOI weir "men 

who do not belong ti» us and absentees who never again intend 

to visit Ireland." ' Th<- extent of the opposition disheartened 

Comwallis, and early in 1 709 he had to confess, to his no 

small chagrin, that even the Catholics on whom he relied 
were becoming cautious and distrustful. 1 

But Pitt and Portland had put their hands to the plough 

and were determined not to look back. The latter authorized 
Comwallis to assure all those having political influence that 
the Ministry would press on the Union "as essential to \ 
well-being of both countries, and particularly to the security 
and peace of Ireland as dependent on its connexion with 
Great Britain," and that " the conduct of individuals upon 
this subject will be considered as the test of their disposition 
to support the King's Government." 3 And when the Irish 
Parliament met in January 1799, the question of legislative 
Union was at once raised by the following paragraph in 
the Viceroy's speech : " The more I have reflected on the 
situation and circumstances of the kingdom, considering, on 
the one hand, the strength and stability of Great Britain, 
and, on the other, those divisions which have shaken Ireland 
to its foundations, the more anxious I am for some permanent 
adjustment which may extend the advantages enjoyed by our 
sister kingdom to every part of the Island. The unremitting 
industry with which our enemies persevere in their avowed 
object of endeavouring to effect a separation of this kingdom 
from Great Britain must have engaged your particular atten- 
tion, and His Majesty commands me to express his anxious 
hope that this consideration, joined to the sentiment of 
mutual affection and common interest, may dispose the 
Parliaments in both kingdoms to provide the most effectual 
means of maintaining and improving a connexion essential 
to their common security, and of consolidating, as far as 
possible, into one firm and lasting fabric, the strength, the 
power, and the resources of the British Empire." 4 

1 Comwallis Correspondence, iii. 27- 2 Ibid. 28-29. 

3 Ibid. 20. 4 Plunketfs Speeches, p. 41. 



mi WHOM 

lint <-! the- whole question in the House of 

ly OUttide also, was left in the hands 

ltlerea<;h. He- had Ikm-i) I.-i a < < mi siderable time 

: ;m t ; the duties <>f ( nief Secretary , lYlhain, who actually 

held the office, beta \ absent in England But in the previous 
r Pelham i id, partly bff mm «»t Ill-health, partly 

lie did not approve of the Union, 1 and ( 'astlerea;»li 

formally appointed to succeed him. The King did not 

■ ur bavfag inch an office in an Irishman's hand ., but an 
ption was made in the case of Castlereagh, and for the 
curious reason that he was so unlike an Irishman. 2 Certainly 
the kindness, the sympathy, the warmth of heart of the Irish- 
man were not his, for he was cold and callous and heartless ; 
but it would be equally unfair to compare him with an honour- 
able English gentleman, for treachery and duplicity and 
hypocrisy were among the prominent features of his character. 
He had completely turned his back on the liberal opinions of 
his earlier years, and in the terrible years of 1796 and 1797, 
and during the horrors of 1798, he favoured every severity of 
Government, condoned every illegality, employed the vilest of 
men as his instruments — men without a shred of character — the 
renegade politician, the partisan judge, the perjured sheriff, the 
spy, the informer, the convicted criminal, the ferocious military 
officer, the soldier who ravished and burned and desecrated 
the temple of God. With a graceful person and insinuating 
manners, he concealed under a plausible exterior a heart black 
as night, a nature to whom no depth of infamy was too deep. 
He appeared to love cruelty for its own sake, and to pity was 
an utter stranger. The open, the candid, the honest among 
men he hated, because they were so unlike himself ; love of 
country he did not understand ; public virtue he despised ; 
bribery and corruption he loved to employ ; he walked on the 
tortuous rather than on the straight road, and could do nothing 
with clean hands. 

Such a man had no difficulty in carrying out the directions 
of Portland, to consider the support of the Union as the test 
1 Lecky, v. 149-50. 2 Castlereagh Correspondence, i. 424-44. 



THE OPPOSITION U IDER8 87 

of loyalty, and Immediately Sir John Parnell was diiml '»i 
from the Chancellorship <>f the Exchequer, and was succeeded 
by Isaac Cory ; FitzGerald's office oi Prime Sergeant vras given 

to an obscure banister named Daly, because In- was a Unionist; 

and Mr. George Knox and Mr. Claudius Beresford resigned 
their seats on the Revenue Hoard, knowing that as Anti 
Unionists they were certain to be dismissed. 1 Several votes 

were thus secured by promises of office or threats of dismissal, 
and these, added to the pensioners and placemen, gave Castlc- 

reagh a formidable body of supporters. But the Opposition 

was also formidable, even in numbers, still more so in ability ; 
and against such men as Knox, I'onsonby, Parnell, Harrington, 
FitzGerald, Parsons and Plunkett, such men as Blaquierc and 
the Knight of Kerry, or even Castlercagh himself, were but 
poorly matched. Mr. William Smith indeed had talent, as 
had Castlercagh, who on the Address made an able speech. 
Disclaiming any motive but patriotism and public interest, he 
at one time pleaded and entreated, and then became menacing 
and defiant, and when Barrington charged the Government 
with corruption, Castlereagh jumped to his feet and shouted to 
have these words taken down. He assured the members that 
assenting to the Address did not mean assenting to the Union, 
it was merely a willingness to consider the question. But 
Parnell moved as an amendment that the Constitution of 1782 
should be maintained, and it was on this the debate arose — a 
debate which began on the 22nd of January and continued 
without interruption for twenty-two hours. 2 

As might have been expected, such men as Knox, 
Ponsonby, Parnell and Barrington spoke well ; but the most 
powerful speech of the debate was made by Plunkett, who rose 
on the morning of the 23rd, just as there came through the 
windows the first streaks of dawn. Passion and pathos and 
solemn warning, fierce invective, scathing sarcasm, unanswerable 
argument, the debating power and constitutional knowledge of 
a great lawyer and a great orator marked this splendid effort. 
Repeating the language of Barrington, he challenged the 
1 Lecky, v. 213. 8 Barrington, pp. 321-3. 



88 mi UNI 

nment I - take down Ms words, but the Government 
i tmained lilent He ipoke oi ( istlereagh with oontemptuoui 

Liming Itriplir .t yoiMg philosopher who 

had been transplanted from the nursery t<» the Cabinet to 
«»m ind understanding of the country," " a 

I these latter words being especially 

istlereagh was childless li<- distinctly denied the 

it of the Irish Parliament to vote away Its own existence; 

the members were elected t<> make laws not legislatures. As 

in himself, in* would resist to the last gasp of his existence, 
.1:1 1 when he felt the hour of his dissolution approaching, he 
would, like the father of Hannibal, take his children to the 
altar and ^we.tr them to eternal hostility against the invaders 
of his country's freedom. 1 Some of the trimmers on the Anti- 
Unionist side who had been meditating desertion were perhaps 
convinced, or perhaps cowed, by this great speech ; and when 
the division was taken, Castlereagh had only a majority of one, 
105 being on the Opposition and 106 on the Government 
side. 

Two days later another long debate arose on the report of 
the Address, when Parsons moved that the paragraph relating 
to the Union should be expunged. Parsons and Ponsonby 
were at their best, and even in so corrupt an assembly their 
arguments and eloquence had such an effect that the Govern- 
ment was defeated, the Unionists mustering only 106, while 
there were 1 1 I on the side of the Opposition. Dublin went 
wild with joy. When the numbers were announced the ladies 
in the gallery could with difficulty restrain themselves, but 
outside there was no restraint, and the people shouted them- 
selves hoarse. Ponsonby and his friends when they appeared 
were greeted with deafening cheers, while the Unionist 
members were hissed and hooted. The Speaker's carriage 
was drawn through the streets by an enthusiastic and cheering 
crowd, bonfires were lighted, houses illuminated, even the Post 
Office, a Government establishment, was a blaze of light. 
Those who refused to illuminate their windows had them 
1 Plunketfs Speeches, pp. 41-52. 



ii ii s BP1 i CH i\ i in. BRITISH iwm.iami-.n I 

broken; and thii happened at the house oi Lord Clare, nrhich 
w.i i attacked by an angry mob. 1 

On the other hand, the Irish Hou «• of Lordi readily 
consented to the Address, which wsj carried by i majority oi 
52 to 16. Nor had Pitt any difficulty In carrying bis Union 
Resolution In the British House oi Commons by 140 to 15, 
and iw the British House <>f Lords the same resolutions were 

carried without Opposition* 1 Mr. Pitt's speech on the oe< asion 
was long and elaborate and eloquent, and delivered with all 
the authority which comes from a great position and splendid 
talents. Laying special emphasis on what had taken place, on 
the Commercial Propositions and on the Regency, he conjured 
up other visions perhaps of fatal divisions which might arise 
hit ween two independent legislatures. lie ascribed the ills of 
Ireland to the situation of the country, the ignorance of the 
people, the division of classes, the state of property, religious 
distinctions, to " the rancour which bigotry engenders and 
which superstition rears and cherishes. 3 If the proposed Union 
could not cure all these ills it would at least, like the patent 
medicine, cure all that could be cured. It would give Ireland 
greater security and greater wealth, more extended trade, 
attract British capital to her shores, bring warring classes 
together, soften the severity of religious animosities, leave the 
landlord his property, the Protestant his Church, and to the 
Catholic would open the door for further concessions. 4 Such 
a Union was not subjecting Ireland to a foreign yoke, but 
one entered into by free consent, on just and equal terms, 
binding two great nations which want nothing but that indis- 
soluble connexion to render both invincible." This was again 
going over the ground covered by Cooke, and in reality con- 
tained nothing new. Nor had Sheridan, who led the Opposition, 
any difficulty in discrediting the case made, though his 
arguments and his eloquence were in vain. 

Less brilliant than Sheridan, the Irish Speaker, Foster, 
made, in the Irish Parliament, even a more convincing case. 

1 Lecky, v. 227. 2 Stanhope's Pitt, iii. 177-8. 

3 Clifford's Pit/, vi. 143-54. 4 Stanhope, iii. 173-6. 



I 111 I \l 

he had filled in Ion the offices of 

Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sp and had filled both 

with credit, llis mental capabilities u ilid rather than 

»wy . his know! is never superft lal i he dug down to 

>t of things , and In financial and commercial matters, as 

well as thote relating to the Irish Constitution, he spoke with 
the authority of an expert. In opposition to the patriots he 

I supported Orde's Commercial Propositions ; he was un- 
alterably o p posed to Parliamentary Reform and Catholic 

Emancipation ; during the rebellion and the events which led 
to it he supported every severity and every illegality of 
Government ; and going further even than Clare, when the 
Rebellion was over he resented with bitterness and indignation 
the milder measures of Cornwallis. His attitude on public 
questions augmented the influence which his talents gave him 
with his fellow-members, for the spirit of the Irish Parliament 
then was one of ascendancy and bigotry. On such a man, a 
pronounced and aggressive reactionary, Pitt counted with 
certainty, and great was his chagrin when he was compelled 
to reckon with his opposition. 

Foster had been prevented by his position from taking part 
in the earlier debates on the Union ; but in May the Opposition, 
to weaken the Unionist cause, brought in a Regency Bill 
enacting that henceforth whoever was appointed Regent de 
facto in Great Britain became de jure Regent in Ireland. It 
was when this Bill had reached the committee stage that 
Foster, no longer in the Chair, stated his views on the Union, 
and in a powerful and closely-reasoned speech which occupied 
more than four hours in its delivery. 

Relying on experience rather than on prophecy, he recalled 
how loyal to Great Britain the Irish Parliament had always 
been. It was loyal long before 1782, when, even with its 
limited powers, it might have refused to vote the necessary sup- 
plies ; it was loyal in the days of the Volunteers ; loyal when 
it put down the great Rebellion of the previous year. The Bill 
before the House would remove any cause of friction between the 
two Parliaments should a question of regency ever again arise. 



! «» ,i i i B si i i I ii 01 

As to Orde'i Propositions, he contended again I Pitt that 
the difference was oommen ial rather than constitutional , that 
these Propositions had been at first unanimously adopted In 
Ireland and rejected only when English commercial jeakw 

had made (hem inequitable and one -.ided. And al ol 

friction had since been removed by the Irish Parliament when 
it adopted the English Navigation Art, and followed the 
British Parliament In recognizing the monopoly of the East 
India Company in the Eastern Seas, it the Irish Parliament 

at any future time passed legislation injurious to Great Britain, 
was it not true that no such legislation could take effect until 
it passed the Great Seal of England, and could not Great 
Britain by these means enforce an effective veto ? An 
independent Parliament had brought Ireland, in a few years, 
an amount of prosperity unexampled in her history. The 
extinction of such a Parliament would widen the area of dis- 
affection, disarrange trade, increase taxation, and, adding to the 
number of absentees, would remove many from Ireland who 
were centres of culture, and thus retard rather than advance 
the progress of Ireland in civilization. 1 

Whatever effect this able speech had in the Irish Parlia- 
ment, it had much outside, but it had none in weakening the 
determination of Pitt and Portland. The Union must be 
carried. Anything which tended to weaken the case for it 
must be opposed, and hence the Regency Bill, which granted 
everything for which Pitt had contended in 1789, was now 
defeated by Castlereagh. There was to be no measure for the 
commutation of tithes, nor for the payment of Catholic or 
Presbyterian clergy, passed in an Irish Parliament, nor was 
Catholic emancipation to be granted except accompanied by 
a Union. 2 The Ministry wanted Ireland to share their 
conviction that a Union was best both for Ireland and the 
Empire, and though Pitt feared that the progress of conviction 
would not be rapid, he believed it would come, and perhaps 
sooner than is now (February 1799) expected. 3 To bring 

1 Lecky, v. 264-76. - Ibid. 246-7. 

3 Stanhope, iii. 177. 



THI VHH >\ 

-nt this desirable event everything wum lawful. The 
>• to I"" compensated; those who opposed 
th<- Union were to be dismissed from all offices they or their 
friends held undei G tvernment ; and to terrorize others it 
w.ts announced publicly to what these dismissals were due. 
Those who voted fbi Castlereagh were rewarded with places 

and pensions and peerages, or promotions in the peerage. 

Grattan and hia friends welcomed the Place Hill of 1793 

lure for the purification of Parliament, for it compelled 
ii member on being appointed to a Government office to 
Ign his seat. 1 But no distinction was made between lucrative 
and nominal offices, a fatal omission of which Castlereagh took 
advantage. For there were members who shrank from sup- 
porting a Union which they condemned, but were willing, for 
some consideration, by accepting some nominal office, to vacate 
their seats and allow a Unionist to be returned ; and by this 
means above 63 Government supporters were secured. On 
the other hand, Colonel Cole, M.P., an Anti-Unionist, being 
ordered abroad to join his regiment, applied for the nominal 
office of the Escheatorship of Munster, taking care, however, 
that another Anti-Unionist, Mr. Balfour, would succeed him in 
Parliament. His request was refused, and thus he was unable 
to vacate his seat. 2 

Such were the means taken to obtain a Unionist majority 
in Parliament ; nor were there less effective means taken to 
influence public opinion beyond its walls. Though the Rebellion 
was over and no fresh Rebellion feared, troops were hurried 
from England until the army in Ireland amounted to 137,000 
men. To put down a partial outbreak of crime, a Coercion 
Act was passed in June 1799 placing all Ireland at the 
option of the Viceroy under martial law ; and as all Anti- 
Unionists were considered disloyal, this Act was freely used to 
put them down. The Government took care to appoint as 
High Sheriffs strong Unionist partisans, and to place the 
military at their disposal ; while in the case of Anti-Unionist 
Sheriffs, their authority was flouted and ignored by military 
1 Barrington, pp. 333-4. 2 Grattarts Life, v. 40-41. 



POSH ION 01 CORNWALLIS 
officers. Iii Sligo and Antrim public meetings summoned to 

petition against the Union were proclaimed M illegal. In the 

Kind's County a similar publi< meeting to l><- held in the Court 
house was stopped by the High Sheriff at the head of the 

military, and with two six-pounder guns turned <m the ( 'ant- 
house door.' 

County meetings in Kildare and the Queen's County v. < 

also stopped. And a ease is mentioned where a gentleman 
who addressed a letter against the Cnion to a Kerry newspaper 
was taken Up as a disloyal man and lodged as prisoner in 
Kilmainham Jail. 

All these methods of influencing public opinion Castlereagh 

was quite willing to employ, and to have his hands free for 
such work he prorogued the Parliament in June. But 
Cornwallis was a more honourable man, convinced indeed that 
the Union was a good thing, and that Parliament and people 
ought to be persuaded into it, but shrinking from the employ- 
ment of dishonourable means to obtain votes or influence 
opinion. From the first he favoured conciliating the Catholics, 
thinking it a desperate measure for the British Government to 
ally themselves in Ireland with a small party of reactionaries 
and bigots. 2 This small party, disapproving of his milder 
measures, attributed to him the defeat of the Union in January, 
and by them he was furiously assailed. Cornwallis himself 
believed the defeat showed that the country was not ripe for 
the measure, and suggested that for the present it should be 
postponed ; 3 but his will was overborne by the stronger wills 
of Pitt and Castlereagh, and he was compelled to go on. It 
was wearisome work for a man of honour — " dirty business " 
which it was the wish of his life to avoid. He was bartering 
and bargaining with men who had no fixed principles, who 
would acknowledge in April that nothing but a Union could 
save Ireland, and in May would vote against it ; men whom 
he told his friend Ross he longed to kick rather than court 4 

1 Grattan's Life, v. 50-51, 93-95 ; MacNeill, pp. 126-8. 

2 Cornwallis Correspo?idence, ii. 415. 3 Ibid. iii. 51. 
4 Ibid. 89, 1 00-10 1. 



i HI I WIOW 

in pui I ae dirty business he made ■ t*>ur In 

Munsto August anil another In Ulster In October, seeking 

i. >ur of the Union, the object being to show that 
the Opposition were wrron rting that public opinion v 

against t! On these journeys, if an address was to 

u- presented, no town w I i imall to be visited, the signa- 
ture and creeds wen Icomed, and yet 
the results were poor. In the County of Down only 415 
; the Union, 17,000 against it; In all Ireland only 
7000 petitioned for Union, while 110,000 freeholders were on 
the opposite tide ; k » that the Anti-Unionists were to their oppo- 
nents in the proportion of 14 to 1. And this was in spite of 
bri I promises, of threats and intimidation, of partisan 
sheriffs and browbeating landlords, of martial law and prancing 
dragoons. 1 

The position of the Catholics deserves special notice. The 
it mass of them did not understand political questions, 
and while they would gladly have welcomed a commutation of 
tithes, they were indifferent to the question of Union. Nor did 
the question arouse any enthusiasm among the more educated 
of the same creed, unless we except Lords Kenmare and Fingal 
and a few other cringing courtiers who loved to study the 
caprices of the Viceroy and bask in the sunshine of Castle 
favours. The clergy, who had seen their churches burned, 
their villages laid waste, their people flogged and outraged, 
their clerical brethren driven into exile or perishing on the 
scaffold, had lost all hope of redress from an Irish Parlia- 
ment ; but if they could have obtained Emancipation from it 
they would have preferred it to seeking redress from a foreign 
Parliament. 

Among the Bishops the same views prevailed. One of the 
ablest of their number, Dr. Moylan of Cork, was a welcome 
guest at the residence of the Duke of Portland, and was 
enthusiastic for a Union. Equally enthusiastic, and with a 
more potent voice in the councils of the Bishops, was the 
Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Troy. His piety, his learning, his 
1 Grattaris Life, v. 50-51 ; Lecky, v. 314. 



THE C vi 'HOI i < • iND mi I MION 

administrative capacity were recognized .it Rome, and he hid 

been promoted from t In* Sec oi i . to Dublin, and had been 
(bra time also Administrate)! oj t h<- See of Armagh. 1 The 

bent of his mind WAS tO lUppOrt authoiity, BVCfl when authority 

and tyranny were Identified; he had b horroi ol political 
agitation and popular movements; and though he denounced 
and excommunicated Whiteboys and Rightboya and Defend* 
he had no words of condemnation for die wrongs which called 
these secret societies into existence. 2 During the dark days of 

I798 lie ceased not to be a courtier, and was often a Visitor at 
the Castle. The Scenes be witnessed made him cautioUS and 

even timid, and to a Government clerk we find him apologiz- 
ing because one of his priests in writing to him called him 
"My Lord." 3 It is quite certain that in what he did he was 
honest and sincere, though we read with a shock that he asked 
for and obtained for his nephew a petty Government office, 
and this even after 1800, when all the world knew that the 
Catholic Bishops had trusted and had been shamefully 
betrayed. 4 

Dr. Troy was satisfied, in December 1798, to have the 
Union pass if it contained no clause barring any future con- 
cessions. 5 He was satisfied, in the following February, with 
the speech of Pitt that at some future time something might 
be done for the Catholics, dependent, however, on their own 
conduct and on the temper of the times. 6 And he eagerly 
welcomed the vague promises of the Irish Government, though 
unauthorized by Portland, and in return induced all the Irish 
Archbishops and six of the Bishops to accept, on the appoint- 
ment of all Irish Bishops, the veto of the British Government, 
and to notify the nomination of parish priests to Government, 
giving a certificate of their loyalty. 7 His energies were 
incessant; but though naturally able to influence many Bishops, 
and to a lesser extent the priests, the small number of 

1 Spiciligiwn Ossoriense, iii. 399. 2 Ibid. 365, 370-71, 384, 477-8. 

8 Cornwallis, iii. 20. 4 Viceroy's Post- Bag, pp. 177-8. 

5 Lecky, v. 204. 6 Stanhope's Pitt, iii. 174-5. 

7 Spiciligiu7ii Ossoricnse, iii. 614. 



1 1 1 I I M 

those who petitioned foi the Union, pari of whom only were 

. that In . n« I th the laity was not remark - 

Die Bishop o( Meath would not declare publicly for 

the Union, n mid hi. pric I , and the laity of the dioo 

u< tinst it. 1 The Archbishop of Tuara had to confess 

that his people called him an Orange Bishop In the pay of the 

•i nraent 1 

Mi O'Connell made his Brat public ipeech at a meeting of 

the Catholics of Dublin 'January I 8ooj, and declared amid 
thimdefS Of applause that they would rather trust to their 

Protestant fellow-countrymen than lay their country at the feet 
of foreigners, and that if a Union was to be the alternative of 
the re-enactment of the penal laws, they would prefer the 
re-enactment of the penal laws. 3 

Grattan was so enraged at the attitude of Dr. Troy and 
some of the Bishops and priests that he called them "a band 
of prostituted men engaged in the service of Government." 4 
But if a good many of them, perhaps a majority, were for the 
Union, it is quite certain that they were not acting from 
mercenary motives, and that only a small number of the 
Catholic laity were on the same side, so that Grattan's censures 
were unjust. 

This was the state of things when the Irish Parliament 
met for its last session in January 1800. Of the 300 
members of the House of Commons, as it was then constituted, 
1 16 were placemen ; only 128 — those from the counties and 
cities and boroughs with an open franchise — could in any 
sense be considered as popular representatives, the remaining 
172 being returned for close boroughs, nominated by the 
Crown or private patrons, and, according to the usage of the 
time, bound to vote as their patrons directed. 5 In such an 
assembly it was easy for the Crown to obtain a majority, but 
a bare majority, especially when obtained by bribery and 
corruption, was insufficient in Mr. Pitt's view ; and he wrote 

1 Castlereagh Correspondence, ii. 437-8. 
2 Ibid. 347. 3 MacNeill, p. 134. 

4 Ingram, p. 159. 5 MacNeill, pp. 95-96. 



(.k.\ ii \.\ i i i URN rO I'M i.i \mi «r/ 

privately to Cornwall!* not t«» proceed with the (Jnio i nnl< 

he COllld l>< - certain of a majority oi at least fifty. Thil 
majority was not available .it tiu- opening of the . ion, for 
there were no i« ,v ^ than twenty five seat vacant, nearly all 
of which had been specially vacated to let In Unionist 
Castlereagh wanted a little time to have these vacanciei filled, 
and hence there was not ■ word about the Union in the 
Viceroy's Speech. Sir Lawrence Parsons, however, spoiled thi 
arrangement l>y moving an amendment, that tin Constitution 
of 178a should be maintained. Castlereagh opposed the 

amendment, declaring boldly that the country was now for 
the Union, and that nineteen counties had petitioned in its 
favour. A fresh debate followed, lasting for eighteen hours, 

and in which, though Castlereagh and Corry spoke well, the 
weight of eloquence and argument was on the opposite side. 
Indeed, the speeches of Parsons himself, and those of Fitzgerald, 
Moore, George Ponsonby, Burke and Plunkett, were worthy of 
the greatest assembly in the world." 

But the great event of the debate was the reappearance of 
Grattan. With difficulty he had been able to get a seat ; with 
great reluctance he had consented to re-enter Parliament, and 
he had only yielded to the combined pleadings of the Opposition 
chiefs and his wife. The close borough of Wicklow had been 
placed at his disposal by its patron, Mr. Tighe, and a friendly 
sheriff hastened the return and forwarded the writ to Dublin. 
He was then in feeble health, as he had been since his return 
from England in the previous year, and when his friends called 
at his house in Dublin on the morning of the 16th to take 
him to the House of Commons, he querulously remarked, "Why 
don't they let me die in peace ? " His wife urged him to go 
with them, and dressing him in the uniform of the Volunteers, 
she handed him his loaded pistols. It was not unlikely that 
some agent of the Government might attack him on his way, 
and Grattan's friends seemed to expect this ; Mrs. Grattan 
nevertheless remarking that even so he should go, and that 

1 Barrington, p. 357. 
2 Coote, pp. 298, 313 ; GrattarCs Life, v. 78-88. 
Vol. Ill 77 



1 in: UNION 
he could hive no nobler endin • than to shed his blood for 

Ireland. 1 

11 - entered the Houae leaning on tin- arms of Mr. W. B. 

Ponionby And Mr. Arthur Moon?, and having taken the oath, 
he proceeded to make one of the greatest speeches of his lite 

iv point that COllld tell was made with the skill of an old 

Parliamentary hand. And the effect was heightened by the 

circura . in which the speech was delivered. Grattan was 

so weak that he was unable to stand, and had to obtain the 
permission of the House to speak seated. His sharp features 
had become sharper and thinner, his body was wasted by 
<h tease and suffering, his head was bowed, the light in his eye 
hul grown dim, his voice was almost inaudible. But even in 
such difficulties genius asserted itself, mind triumphed over 
matter. Back again in the scenes of his old triumphs, he 
recalled the events in which his had been the central figure. 
From his side some of the old friends were gone, but some 
were with him still ; while before him were those who had 
traduced him and sought to sacrifice his life, and these same 
men were now laying violent hands on the temple which his 
genius had reared. After the first few sentences he gathered 
strength, his voice became resonant, his head was thrown back, 
the light of battle was in his eye. The foes who had assailed 
him were now assailed, their prophecies derided, their arguments 
proved fallacious, their fictions exposed, and the methods by 
which the Union was sought to be carried condemned with an 
energy of invective, a wealth of epithet, a severity of satire, 
which cast even the great efforts of Bushe and Plunkett into 
the shade. 2 It was all in vain. Castlereagh had carefully 
marshalled the forces of corruption, and w p hen the division was 
taken the Government had 138 supporters, w r hile only 96 were 
on the side of Grattan. 3 

The House adjourned to the 5 th of February, and on that 
day Castlereagh brought his plan of Union definitely before 
Parliament. Instead of appointing Commissioners, as had been 

1 Grattaris Life, v. 76-77. 2 SpeecJies, pp. 235-46. 

8 Coote, pp. 314-30 ; Grattarts Life, v. 88-91 ; Barrington, pp. 372-4. 



CASTLEREAGH'8 PLAN 01 A UNION 

done in the cast- of tin- I ' nion with Scotland, he submitted bis 
scheme in the form of articles of resolutions, which wen- to 
through the various stages in both Houses o( Parliament! 
then go through the British Parliament, and when returned be 
embodied In a Bill. 

In introducing his plan, Castlereaj'ji's speech was n lily 

long, and in part dry and tedious. There was to he one State, 

one Parliament, one Church, for it had been agreed on as a 

fundamental article that the Protestant Chunh was to be 
maintained. Taking the imports and exports and the print ipal 
articles of consumption for three years, he arrived at the 
taxable capacity of Ireland for imperial purposes, and fixed it 
to that of Great Britain as two to fifteen, this to continue for 
twenty years, when it might be revised in the United Barlia- 
ment. The debts of the two countries were to be separate, 
but if at any time they became extinguished, or were brought 
within the proportions of two to fifteen, they were to be 
amalgamated. The Imperial Parliament was henceforth to be 
the taxing authority, but with the proviso that no article in 
Ireland was to be taxed higher than the same article in Great 
Britain. Irish revenues were to form a consolidated fund, any 
surplus remaining, after expenses of government and imperial 
contribution, to be used in relief of taxation, or for local 
purposes. The Commercial Articles approximated to those of 
1785. The manufactures of each country were to be exported 
to the other, duty free, though the bounties already paid on 
Irish linen were to remain, and also those on flour, grain and 
malt, though only for a period of twenty years. No higher 
import duty than 1 5^ per cent was to be imposed on British 
manufactures, nor was this to last beyond twenty years ; and 
meanwhile countervailing duties might be imposed in either 
country on articles subject to internal imposts. 

The charges on the re-exportation of native, foreign and 
colonial goods were to be the same in both countries, and no 
drawbacks were to be retained on articles exported from either 
country to the other. The Irish courts of law were to remain 
untouched. As to the representation of Ireland in the United 



too i Hi UNION 

Parliament, there were to be In the Upper House 4 spiritual 

il temporal peers, and In the House of (Dmmons 100 

raembe i 1 I ich county, 2 for Trinity College, and 34 for 

and boroughs. Nomination boroughs were abolished, 

hut their patrons were to be compensated* 1 

With much Ingenuity Castlereagh combated the contention 
Of Poster, that the Union would lead to additional taxation; 

on the* contrary, Ireland was making an excellent bargain and 

taxation would be less. The trading and commercial clauses 
Ix-iir; so advantageous, he thought himself entitled to the 
.-latitude of Irish manufacturers. Making the permanence of 
the Protestant Church a fundamental article was meant to 
attract the support of that Communion, and he knew that many 
of them were hostile or lukewarm. The lawyers, who feared 
that the courts would be transferred to London, were glad to 
see by the arrangement made that their fears were dispelled. 
The county interest were pleased that the number of county 
members was to be continued, for they feared a diminution 
under the Union, and the patrons of the nomination boroughs 
being so generously compensated could not with any justice 
complain. 

This speech had perhaps some influence on public opinion, 
but in obtaining votes much more was done by the bribery 
and corruption which continued to be employed. No less 
than sixty-three seats had been vacated in the interests of 
the Union by acceptance of the Escheatorship of Munster. 2 
Martial law continued, military officers at the head of their 
troops paraded the streets of Dublin, and a barrack was 
erected at Foster Place as if to overawe Parliament itself. 
Ten thousand of the Irish militia were induced to go to 
England, and were replaced by an equal number of English 
militia. Petitions for the Union were sought with avidity, 3 
while the Opposition were prevented by force from seeking to 
petition, and Lords Downshire and Charlemont and Mr. 
Ponsonby, who issued a circular on behalf of thirty-eight 

1 Coote, pp. 333-63. 2 Grattan's Life, v. 130. 

3 Castlereagh Correspondence, iii. 222, 228-9. 




MEASURES OF THE OPP< I 1 1 H >N 101 

count)- members of Parliament, asking the varioui counties to 
convene meetings, were assailed as if they had been guilty of 

high treason ; and Lord l)ownshire was dismissed from all the 
offices he held, and his name erased from the list of the Privy 

Council. 1 A duelling club was set up among the Unionist 
members, each of whom was to pick i quarrel with some 

Opposition member, and so have a rhanee of shooting him 
down.' 2 The whole patronage of the Government in the Army, 
the Law, the Church, the Civil Service was Unsparingly, used 
for corruption. Everything was offered to the chiefs of the 
Opposition — to Bushe, Burrowes, Hardy, Saurin and Plunkctt ; 
and Bushe declared that he was staggered at the magnitude of 
the offers made him. 8 Everywhere the process of bribery went 
on, and even while the debates in Parliament were proceeding, 
votes were being bought and sold. 

Great efforts were also made by the Opposition. In spite 
of the Government, meetings were held to petition, and 
110,000 signatures were obtained. 4 A fund of ,£100,000 
was raised to purchase votes, and more than one vote was 
purchased. Burrowes and Saurin and Gould were thus bought, 
and added much to the debating power of the Opposition. 5 
Outside Parliament, Burrowes proposed that an appeal should 
be issued to the Yeomanry, declaring that no Government would 
force a measure through against the wishes of 60,000 armed 
men ; c> but Grattan and others opposed this motion, which if 
it had been carried and acted upon might have prevented the 
Union. 7 

In many speeches the Opposition leaders met effectually 

the points made by Castlereagh, 8 while Foster in Committee 

attacked the whole scheme with all his well-known ability, and 

made a great impression. It was on this occasion that Corry 

made a coarse and virulent attack on Grattan, calling him an 

1 Cornwall is, iii. 170-7 I ; Castlereagh Correspo7idence, iii. 241. 

' 2 Barrington, pp. 358-9; Graft an^s Life, v. 129. 

3 Grattan's Life, v. 115. . 4 Lecky, v. 354, notes. 

5 Grattan 's Life, v. 71-72. 6 Ibid. v. 67-69. 

7 Cornwallis Coi-respoitdence, iii. 167-8. 

s Coote, pp. 363-80. 9 Lecky, pp. 388-95. 



I 111 I \!<>\ 

" unim} i ; brail But by this time Grattan had quite 

trailgth, and overwhelmed Cony in B torrent of 

Im r equalled In any Parliament A duel 

foil In which Corry was wounded, and Grattan In COn- 

IC more po w erful and more j >« >j >iihtr than ever. 1 

The position of the Unionist! was not improving. Such 

men as Daly and Fox and Smith and Brown, or even 

Igh, though able, were much inferior in ability to the 
Opposition chiefs ; as for the rest of the Unionists, they were 

* mercenaries, soldiers, bravos and bullies."' Vfter the duel 

between Grattan and Corry, they wished for no more duels; 
some of them attended Parliament irregularly; twelve of them 
went over to the Opposition, 3 with the result that after all the 
vacant seats had been filled, the Articles of Union were carried 
only by 158 to 11$, just one more of a majority than that 
by which Parsons' amendment had been defeated. Cornwallis 
was despondent ; Castlereagh continued bribery, and got ready 
cash for the purpose from London. But he had no hope of 
making converts, and only hoped that his followers would keep 
together. 

His hopes were fulfilled. Ponsonby's motion on the 4th 
of March to send the Anti-Union petition to England was 
defeated by a majority of 52, Parnell's motion for a dis- 
solution by a majority of 46, and in subsequent divisions, 
while the majority rarely went beyond 50, it never fell below 
40. 4 By the end of March the Union Articles, having 
passed both Houses, were forwarded to England and passed 
through the British Parliament with enormous majorities. 
With some slight alteration in the Church Articles, 5 they 
came back in May, the Irish Parliament, which had been pro- 
rogued for six weeks, again assembled, and the Articles 
embodied in a Bill rapidly passed the House of Commons and 
reached the final stages early in June. In these final stages 
the Opposition relaxed their efforts, feeling that they were 

1 Grattan' s Life, v. 99-109. - Ibid. v. 160. 

3 Lecky, p. 371. 4 Ibid. pp. 396-8, 402. 

5 Castlereagh Correspondence, iii. 294-5. 



THE UNION PASSES IOJ 

fighting a losing battle, t > 1 1 1 Castlereagh remained to the lasl ;»t 

his post 

In the Mouse ot Lords, on the ( | >nt i '.iry, the Opposition it 

no time was effective, and Lord Clare had an easy task. Once 

only, on the ioth <>f February, when fust Introducing the 
resolutions, he made a long spee* h, and then he spoke for four 

hours. As might have been expected, it was filled with 

rancour and venom, contained much perverted history, many 
false Statements, much denunciation of the Opposition, whom 
with great effrontery he foully charged with corruption and 

sedition ; and throughout he manifested a bitter hatred of 
Grattan, of Catholicity, and of all reform. 1 lie had but a 
feeble opposition to contend with, and the Bill when it sub- 
sequently came up from the ('ominous passed its various stages 
rapidly. Finally, on the 1st of August, it received the Royal 
assent. 

During the Unionist debates, the case of the Scotch Union 
was often appealed to, and it was argued that a Union was as 
necessary for Ireland as for Scotland, and would work equally 
well. But between the two cases it was points of difference 
rather than of agreement that could be found. The Scotch 
asked for Union, the Irish did not, but had it forced on them 
from England ; the Scotch Parliament refused to follow 
England in her wars, the Irish Parliament never refused ; the 
Scotch Parliament by the Act of Security refused to recognize 
the Hanoverian succession ; the Irish only quarrelled on the 
question of the Regent, and then only as to the extent of his 
powers ; the Scotch Parliament was elected after having the 
question specially submitted to the electors ; not a whisper of 
Union was heard in Ireland at the General Election of 1797, 
and the demands of the Anti-Unionists for a dissolution were 
rejected ; Scotland being poor made a good bargain in matters 
of trade and taxation and prospered after union ; Ireland being 
then rich made a bad bargain and declined in wealth ; finally, 
the Scotch Union was carried without bribery, if we except 
about ^8000 which was paid in arrears of salaries from the 

1 Coote, pp. 381-41 1. 



■ i mi im 

i rlish I ind nothing was paid In respect of her 

.' in Ireland nearly one million and a half v 
paid the borough owneri tnd levied off Ireland herself; and 
ry o( members of Parliament was naked and un- 
ashamed And the letters of those engaged in Unionist 
itiatiom tl ■ Clare and Portland and Wickham and 

King ami Taylor and LittlehaleS and the Knight Of Kerry, and 

some of Cornwallis's too -were destroyed lest the extent of 
then infamy should be revealed. 1 

When bribery had been so lavishly used, it is little wonder 
that the Union pa ied, espe ially when we consider that the Irish 
Parliament had been always corrupt ; that many of its members 

were placemen and English, caring little for Ireland, but much 
the wishes of an English Minister ; and that a lar^e 
majority of the whole House of Commons were never brought 
into touch with the people by popular elections, and therefore 
cared little for popular views. Had the eloquence of the patriot 
party in the years that followed 1782 been supported by an 
armed force, there can be little doubt that further concessions 
would have been made, and that a reformed Parliament with an 
executive dependent on it would have followed the grant of 
legislative independence ; and in the dark days of 1800, when 
the Irish Constitution was subverted, Grattan must have 
often bitterly reproached himself with having joined those who 
demanded that the swords of the Volunteers should be laid 
aside. 

Nor was his sweeping condemnation of the Catholic clergy 
quite just, for though it is certain that if they had unitedly 
opposed the Union, the Union would not have passed, 3 it is at 
least probable that a majority of them did not favour the views 

1 Hill Burton's History of Scotland, vol. viii. pp. 91, 93-94, 123, 149, 
185. 

- Preface to Cornwallis Correspondence. The Report of the Speeches 
against the Union was burned by the printer, he having been bribed by the 
Government (Grattan's Life, v. 179-80). 

3 Grattan's Life, v. 58-59. Twenty-five M.P.'s determined to oppose 
the Union if Catholics were against it ; but having been assured by 
Cornwallis that the Catholics favoured it, they withdrew their opposition. 



w iiy Tin i \i< »\ PASS1 i> 105 

of Dr. Troy. .And it was hard to expect th.it the Catholi< 
either clerical or lay would willingly take (idea with •• 
virulent l>i<;ot such as Mr, Foster. I the last the Anti 
Unionists, by not agreeing to be liberal t<> the Catholic , (ailed 
to attract their support, and in consequence (ailed to make the 

opposition to the Union a national .1 1 n; .;; ;lc One member, 

Mr. Ogle, declared that he opposed the Union because he 
feared it would lead to Catholi< emancipation. 1 Saurin, a 

descendant of French HugUenOtS, seemed to have the Edict of 

Nantes ever before his eyes, and man)' others were equally 

intolerant. 

Grattan was on safer ground when he maintained th.it 

the Irish Parliament could not vote away its existence, 

especially without a dissolution having taken place. For 
the members had not been elected on the question of Union, 
and they were surely bound on a measure of such magnitude 
to consult the electors from whom they derived their power. 
However, the Union passed ; a corrupt assembly came to an 
end ; the Great Seal of Great Britain was destroyed and a new 
one of the Empire took its place ; and with the assembling of 
the United Parliament on the 22nd of January 1801 a new 
chapter in the chequered history of Ireland was begun. 

1 Grattatfs Life, v. 95 ' 2 Ibid. v. 121. 



CHAPTER V 

The Catholic Question 

PROPHECY was much used on both sides in the Union debates, 
tnd when the Union was passed there must have been some 
anxiety U) sec which class of prophets would be justified by 

its. If, as Foster contended, a Union would encour 
absentees, ruin important manufactures and increase taxation, it 
was certainly an evil ; but if, as Castlereagh predicted, it would 
help the linen and woollen manufactures, lighten taxation and 
lessen religious animosities, then it was a blessing, the off- 
spring of wisdom and patriotism. Time, however, is necessary 
to test the value of prophecy, and some years must elapse 
before a final judgment could be pronounced between the con- 
tending prophets. And meantime the engagements entered 
into by Government should be met. 

There was no difficulty about the Act giving compensation 
to the amount of ;£ 1,2 60,000 l to the borough-owners. It was 
passed in the Irish Parliament itself, and by the same means 
and the same majority as carried the Union ; and compensa- 
tion was given to the opponents as well as to the supporters of 
Government. There was more difficulty about the promised 
peerages and places. While the debates in Parliament were 
proceeding, Cornwallis had a free hand, and could promise 
titles in abundance if only he could get Parliamentary support 
in return. He informed the British Ministry of the engage- 
ments he was making, nor did they object. But when the 
Union was passed, Portland complained of the excessive 
amount of peerages, and of the difficulty of even obtaining the 

1 Cornwallis, iii. 323 
106 



REWARDS TO UNION] I 107 

Kin-;' a con 'Hi to conferring them, and he more than Insinuated 
that these promises l i.i« l been recklessly given. 1 With great 
bitterness Cornwallis complained thai he was disgraced before 

the world in having his enisit'/Mnents repudiated by the 

Ministry, and he asked to be relieved of his oflfw Cs 
reagh was equally pained and equally indignant If the 
Viceroy was to be sacrificed after having bought out for the 
Crown "the fee simple of Irish corruption," it was sorry 

treatment, one result of whieh would he that those disappointed 
would be sure to publish to the world the profligacy of the 
means by which the Union had been carried.' 1 Ultimately the 
Ministry gave way, and twenty-two Irish peers were created, 
five Irish peers received English peerages, and twenty received 
higher titles. 4 

Those promised pensions and places fared worse than the 
peers. Cornwallis, on leaving Ireland, had to complain that in 
many cases his promises as to places and pensions were still 
unfulfilled. Under the government of his successors the 
expectants were still expecting their reward, and their un- 
fulfilled claims caused embarrassment to Lord Hardwickc/' 
But some of them remained still expecting until the Tories left 
office in 1806, and then their claims on the Government were 
repudiated for ever. 6 

The case of the Catholics was the worst of all. It is true 
that Pitt's language on the subject in public had been always 
studiously vague, and that in the House of Commons he 
refused to give a specific pledge. 7 Nor did Castlereagh in the 
Irish Parliament, though he avowed it to be the intentions of 
Government to make some provision for the Catholic clergy, 
even while he repudiated with indignation the charge of having 
bribed them to support the Union. 8 Through his whole term 
of office Cornwallis favoured Emancipation, and with Castlereagh 

1 Castlereagh Correspondence, iii. 321-2, 333, 345. 

- Ibid. 324-6. 3 Ibid. 331-3. 4 MacNeill, p. 110. 

5 Colchester's Diary, i. 321-6 (Hardwicke to Addington). 

6 Lecky, v. 305. ~ Castlereagh, iii. 286. 
s Speech, Feb. 1800. 



io» i HI I I rHOLK Ql i ;tion 

itiated with the Catholic leaden. Pitt . nguine 

that i tin- Union the Catholics would obtain political rights, 
and viewed tin. pi i pect without alarm; and probably he 
iM have been more decided In his views had not tin- 
sinister influence oi Lord I lare be* n brought to bear on him. 1 
lli. whole Cabinet authorized Cornwall!! in 1799 l<> Inform 
the Catholics of their desire for concession, and a positive 

• that a measure of Kmaneipat ion would be intn» 

duced into the imperial Parliament would have been given 

them, but that it was considered just then inexpedient in view 

<<t the danger of arousing Protestant prejudice and alienating 
Protestant support* 1 It was because of this information 
Catholic support had been obtained for the Union; and when 
the United Parliament opened its doors in 1801 the expecta- 
tions of the Catholic body ran high. Great was their disappoint- 
ment to see that nothing had been said about Emancipation in 
the King's Speech, and greater still when Pitt, and with him 
Lords Grenville, Spencer and Camden, as well as Dundas and 
Wyndham, had resigned their places in the Ministry without 
anything having been done. Asked for his reasons for this 
step, Pitt answered in Parliament in language which was 
guarded but well understood to mean that he and his 
colleagues had thought that Emancipation was a necessary 
sequel to the Act of Union and should at once be brought 
before Parliament by Government ; but that as the King was 
unalterably opposed to their views, they had determined to 
resign the offices they held, feeling that they could no longer 
hold office consistently with their duty and their honour. 3 
Cornwallis also on Pitt's behalf assured the Irish Catholics 
that the blame rested on the King, whose hand could not be 
forced ; that they might rely on the friendship and even zeal of 
the retiring Ministers ; that Pitt himself would do his utmost 
to establish their cause in public favour, and prepare the way 
for its ultimate success ; that to strengthen his hands the 
Catholics should be patient and loyal, and that by a contrary 

1 Lecky, v. 156-7, 219. 
2 Castlereagh Correspondence, iv. 8-12. 3 Annual Register, p. 129. 



PITTS Dill K II V 

course of conduct their cause would certainly be imperilled. 
Cornwall is, who evidently believed Pitt to be sincere, had 
papers circulated among the Catholic leaders emphasizing the 
sacrifice which Pitt and his colleagues had made, and pointing 
out thai with such powerful friends on their side the triumph of 
emancipation could not be long delayed. 1 As for hin elf, he 

could not continue to hold office under Pitt's SUCO Or, Mr. 

Addington, who had come into power pledged to re 
Emancipation, and lie assured the Catholics that neither he nor 
Pitt would ever again serve the King unless Emancipation was 
granted.' 2 He noted with satisfaction that his advice and ex- 
hortations had been well received by Dr. Troy and Lord 
Fingall, 8 and so informed Lord Castlereagh. 

Their faith in Pitt and his promises was more generous 
and more childlike than that held by the Opposition in 
Parliament. The latter knew him better ; and they believed 
that his professed friendship for the Catholics was humbug, 
that he meant nothing, and that after making a mock battle 
he would return to power and leave them in the lurch. 4 Time 
proved the correctness of this view. Pitt knew well how 
deep-seated was the bigotry of George III. He knew that 
he had been opposed to the concession of 1793 ; that he had 
in 1798 directed Cornwallis to be informed of his wish that 
there should be no indulgence given to the Catholics ; 5 that in 
the following year he objected to any payment of the Catholic 
clergy ; 6 that he had assented to the Union in the hope that 
it would for ever shut the door to any further measures with 
respect to the Roman Catholics ; 7 and that under the mis- 
chievous influence of the English Lord Chancellor Loughborough 
he had persuaded himself that to admit a few Catholics to 
Parliament, and to the higher offices, for this is all that was 
asked, would be to violate his Coronation Oath. 8 Yet Pitt 
kept the knowledge of these things from Lord Cornwallis, and 

1 Castlereagh Correspondence, iv. 34-41. 2 Plowden, i. 138. 

3 Castlereagh Correspondence, iv. 49-50, 72-73. 4 Ibid. 60-61. 

5 Stanhope's Pitt, Appendix 16. 6 Ibid. 18. 

7 Ibid. 29. 8 Ibid. iii. 264-75. 



THE CA1 HOLN I i<>N 

allowed Kino to indulge Catholic hopes bo ai to purchase 
mpport Had he been in earnest he would have 

privately remonstrated With the King , he would have argued 

with him and persuaded him; failing this, he would have 

threatened to resign. And if he had done this, obstinate as 

the King was, he WOUld have given way. No Government to 
which l'itt was opposed could have lived, and tiiis the King 

knew well He was indeed tenacious as any Englishman 

COUld 1) ; he was cunning and could read the signs of the 
times ; but his intellect was of a common order, and little 
fitted to cope with the mighty intellect of his great Minister, 
and in a contest between the two the royal will must have 
been overborne in the clash of contending wills. 

The real reason why Pitt resigned was that the nation, 
sick of a war which had more than doubled the National 
Debt, 1 and had only aggrandized France, wanted peace, and 
Pitt was too proud to make terms with Bonaparte. As for 
Emancipation he cared nothing. With his full assent, his 
personal friend Addington became Prime Minister — a man 
with the same character of intellect as the King and just 
as bigoted. Instead of opposing, Pitt supported Addington's 
measures ; he never raised a finger to help the Catholics, nor 
uttered a word to give them hope ; 2 and when the peace with 
France, which came with the Treaty of Amiens, was broken 
and the terrible struggle was renewed, he brushed Addington 
aside with contempt and assumed the reins of power. In 1801 
George III. had one of his intermittent fits of insanity, and 
when he recovered blamed Pitt and the Catholics for his 
illness; and now (1804) Pitt returned to power, pledged 
never again to raise the Catholic question, whether in or 
out of office, during the lifetime of the King. Assuredly 
those were right who said he was only deceiving the Catholics, 
and that he would return to power leaving them in the lurch. 
But the Catholics, it might be said, had their revenge, for 
Pitt's days were numbered, and those days were wrapped in 
gloom. His subserviency to the King's prejudices lost him the 
1 Plowden, i. 6. 2 Ashbourne's TV//, p. 305. 



IRISH CHJEI SECRETAKU ill 

BUDDOrt of such able men as FOX and ( jrenvillc, and left him 

with colleagues unequal to the great offices they filled, lii, 

friend Lord Melville, the Dundas ol earlier days, on the shame 
ful charge of appropriating public moneys, had been deprived 
of all his offices, struck off the Pfivy Council, and impeached. 
His great antagonist Bonaparte, with far greater power than 

was ever wielded by Charlemagne, had become Napoleon, 

Emperor of the French. The victories of Lake and Wellesley 

in India, and still more the brilliant victory of Trafalgar, were 
certainly events of which both the nation and Minister might 
be proud. But, on the other hand, all the efforts of both 
nation and Minister against France had failed ; the capitula- 
tion of Ulm and the victory of Austcrlitz made Napoleon 
master of Continental Europe, and amid the smoke of battle 
and the blaze of victory Pitt's coalitions and combinations 
vanished like a dream. The great Minister died broken- 
hearted in January 1 806, little regretted by large masses of 
Englishmen, but regretted least of all by the Irish Catholics, 
whom he had shamefully betrayed. 

During this period Irish Chief Secretaries succeeded each 
other in rapid succession. Mr. Abbott succeeded Lord Castle- 
reagh in 1801. Mr. Wickham held the office from the begin- 
ning of 1802 to the end of 1803; Mr. Evan Nepean to 
the beginning of 1805 ; and Mr. Vansittart from the latter 
date to the death of Pitt ; but none of these gentlemen did 
anything remarkable, or indeed was capable of doing such. 
During the whole period Lord Hardwicke was Viceroy — an 
honourable English Protestant but no bigot, suave, courteous, 
conciliatory, the tool of no party in Ireland, and the same 
to all. Under his rule the guilty were punished, the peaceful 
protected, Orange intolerance was discouraged, and with such 
good results that Ireland was at peace. One of his greatest 
troubles was in respect to the Union engagements. Day 
after day he was pestered with demands for places in the 
Civil Service, for pensions, for promotions in the Army places 
on the bench, preferments in the Church ; * and the applicants 
1 Viceroys Post- Bag, pp. 45-54. 



Ill i ill CA1 HOLK Ql I M ION 

» persistent that ire find him— apparently 
almost in despaii writing on tin- repeated application of 
Mi Janes Knox "The Lord deliver me from Mr. James 
Knox, Rai i Kildare I " ' 

Pi in I <>nl Clare also he got annoyance, but it did not 

last foi long, for th<- stormy careei of that headstrong politician 

rapidly to its close. Accustomed to dominate 

everything In Irish G overnment! he complained bitterly that 

Cornwallis and Castlerea;.;h had negotiated with the Catholics 

behind his ba rid he despised both rlardwicke and Abbot, 

and to both was insolent and overbearing. To the last he 
hated Ireland and Catholicity. In the British House of Lords, 
in 1 80 1, he attacked his countrymen with savage severity; 
defended the horrors of 1798 in their entirety; advocated 
perpetual martial law ; told the assembled Peers that one 
of his own servants had been recently murdered, and for no 
reason but that he was English ; that his house was an 
armoury, and that his servant brought him his arms as 
regularly as he brought him his hat ; that not one Irishman in 
a hundred cared a jot for Emancipation, but they wanted the 
abolition of tithes, and every small farmer expected ten 
acres of land. 3 This series of wanton and wicked falsehoods 
he uttered for the evident purpose of rousing Anti-Catholic 
prejudices ; but he uttered them to the disgust of the 
Assembly in which he spoke ; and his language must surely 
have been violent and his conduct vile, when Pitt, who was 
listening, turned to his friend Wilberforce with the remark, 
" Good God, did you ever hear so great a rascal ! " 4 
Returning to Ireland, he died at his Dublin residence in 
January 1802. A Dublin mob is not usually ungenerous, 
and insults to the dead are rare among them. Yet such 
was the execration in which Clare was held that crowds 
gathered round his house in Ely Place and groaned and 
hooted as he lay dead. 5 At his funeral there was a con- 

1 Post- Bag, p. 219. - Castlereagh Correspondence, iv. 50-51. 

3 Annual Register, pp. 153-79. 4 Gratta?is Life, iii. 403. 

5 Cloncurry's Recollections, p. 146. 



ROB! I I I M Ml-'l I ' , 

tinuation <>f these icenei. The dead Chancelloi had once 
declared thai he would make tin- hi.h as t.unc as cats, and 
remembering this at the grave tide, the crowd poured a ihoi 

Of dead cats on his coffin. Thus pa .< d Lord Clan The 

Government were delighted, and Mr. Al>l><>tt gave i icpreasion 
to their relief. 1 The people exulted that the tyrant was no 

more, and even now, a century alter his death, peihaps no 
Irishman's name is so execrated in Ireland as that oi John 

Fitzgibbon, Lord ( !lan 

Another and very different man who disturbed the re] i 
of the Government was Robert Emmet. He was the y< ungeat 

brother of Thomas Addis Emmet, who played BO promi- 
nent a part in the rebellion of 1 798, and who, in ittoi, 
after an imprisonment of three years, had been released 
from Fort George. For his connexion with the United 
Irishmen, Robert, then in his twentieth year, had been 
expelled from Trinity College. He was sent on a mission 
to France by what remained of the United Irish Executive; 
but the Peace of Amiens cut off hope of French assistance, 
and Robert, returning to Ireland, devoted his time and talents 
to the business of tanning. His tastes were ill suited to such 
business, and when his father died in 1803, leaving him a 
sum of ,£3000, he resolved to overturn the British Govern- 
ment in Ireland and set up an Irish republic. He was a 
poet and a singularly gifted orator, and poets and orators 
make bad conspirators, and yet in the secrecy with which 
he worked and outwitted the Government he equalled the 
most seasoned conspirator. Quigley, a bricklayer, Stafford, 
a baker, Michael Dwyer, who still maintained a desultory 
warfare among the Wicklow Hills — these were his trusted 
advisers in Dublin ; while Thomas Russell, the friend of 
Wolfe Tone, looked after the counties of Antrim and Down. 

To collect arms and manufacture explosives two depots 

were set up in Dublin, one in Patrick Street, the other in 

Marshalsea Lane, off Thomas Street. Emmet himself, who 

never visited these depots and was unknown to the workmen 

1 Colchester's Diary, i. 278-9. - Sham Squire, pp. 196-7. 

Vol. Ill 78 



hi l in. i ATUOUC Ql i H' 

• mi. .id and Quigley, 
an l th i • paid the renl of the dep6ts and the wages of th< 
employ 

Kildai I Dublin were partial! mixed, and Dwyer 

I to Wick low ; and Emmet's plan was t<> gathei 

•i on .i certain day the men of Dublin, Kildare and 

w Ibute the arms collected, then with a rush 

>tui e l Dublin ( lastle, and the re it a y. 

An explosion at the Patrick Struct depot killed one of 
the workmen, and led to the partial disclosure of the con- 
spi ind the seizure of the contained there, it 

) put the authorities on their guard, and caused Emmel 
to hasten the opening of the insurrection. Henceforth he 
lived at the Marshalsea Lane depot himself, and fixed nine 
o'clock in the evening of the 23rd of July for the rising, 
lie had about 3000 pikes, 12 cases of pistols, 4 muskets, 18 
blunderbusses and some ill-constructed combustibles. Emmet 
himself had a sword and a uniform of green and gold. 

Early on the 23rd of July some of the Kildare men came 
to the city ; but when they saw their youthful leader and the 
scanty stores they turned home, and warned their fellow- 
countrymen whom they met to do the same. The Wicklow 
men failed to co-operate ; in Down and Antrim Russell could do 
nothing ; and when Emmet sallied forth from Marshalsea Lane 
on the evening of the 23rd of July he had little more than a 
hundred men. His followers disregarded his advice to proceed 
to Wicklow and join Dwyer, and Emmet, joined by Quigley and 
Stafford, returned to Emmet's lodgings at Rathfarnham. 

Meantime, as the shades of night fell, his divided followers 
put an officer and a soldier to death, and brutally murdered 
the Chief Justice, Lord Kilwarden. But they were soon 
scattered by the military, with the loss of thirty killed and 
several taken prisoners. 1 

1 Post-Bag, pp. 269-99; Madden, iii. 317, 349-50; O'Donoghue's 
Life of Robert Emmet, pp. 92-121 ; Byrne's Memoirs, i. 300-301. Byrne 
highly extols Emmet's plans, and this when Byrne had acquired consider- 
able experience of military affairs. 



R0BER1 EMMET 

In whit happened subsequently to Emmet tragedy and 
romance arc intermingled. His n idence at Rathfarnham 
was searched by yeomen, who stabbed hii servant An 
Devlin with their bayonets, and then half-hanged her in 
order to extort Information; but the heroic girl refused to 
tell what she knew. 1 In reality Emmet had to the 

Wicklow Mountains, and had he stayed there, might hav< 
baffled the Government and escaped from the country. Meai 
Rathfarnham, however, lived one whom he loved as devotedly 

as he loved Ireland. Tins was Sarah, a younger daughter 
of John Philpot Oman. To sec her Emmet returned to 
1 1, irold's Cross, and there he was arrested by Major Sirr 

and lodged in Kilmainham Jail till his trinl on the 19th of 

September. 

lie was defended by MacXally, who promptly told the 
Government everything he learned from his client." He was 
assailed with violence and venom by Plunkctt, who prosecuted 
for the Crown. 8 But Emmet knew well that no attack could 
then injure him, and no advocacy save him from his doom. 
In fact, he called no witnesses, nor allowed his counsel to 
make a speech ; but when asked before sentence by the 
presiding Judge, Lord Norbury, if he had anything to say, 
he spoke himself, and with an eloquence which astonished 
all. His only request was that no one should write his 
epitaph until his country had effectually broken her chains ; 
his only anxiety was for his friends, and above all for Sarah 
Curran and for the anguish he knew she would endure. For 
himself he cared nothing. In the letter he wrote on the night 
before his execution there is no tremor in the writing, no 
incoherence in the thoughts ; and on the following day he 
mounted the scaffold with a firm step. He was executed 
in front of St. Catherine's Church in Thomas Street, first 
hanged and then his head cut off and held up to the crowd 
as the head of a traitor. 4 

1 Post-Bag, pp. 331, 453 ; O'Donoghue, pp. 139-44- 

2 Post-Bag, pp. 401-3, 442. 3 Plunketfs Speeches, pp. 85-96. 
4 Post-Bag, pp. 399-412 ; O'Donoghue, pp. 179-81. 



i i'. i in I \i HOUC Q\ i 81 ion 

Russell was soon after arrested and executed; Quigley 
and Stafford i pardoned; Michael Dwyer surrendered and 
tnithed to New South Wafc Rebellion In Ireland 
hid spent itself; the United Irish Society decayed and died; 
and the people, weary of blood, turned to other and more 
peaceful ways foi the redress of Iti won 

At no time had Kminet's plan any chance of even partial 
suce The people were certainly discontented, but their 

spirits were COWed j the atrocities of 1798 were still fresh 
in their memories ; and they shrank with horror from anything 
which would again let loose a licentious soldiery armed with 
all the powers of martial law. The landing of a great French 
army would, no doubt, have attracted thousands of the 
peasantry ; but this prospect was in the highest degree 
improbable, for the war in Europe had already shown, and 
w as destined to show still more in the future, that if Napoleon 
was master on the land, England was no less the ruler of the 
sea. Prudence and foresight would have taken these things 
into account before recklessly embarking in rebellion. But 
Emmet was young and ardent ; his enthusiasm ignored stern 
realities ; where experience and age would have paused he 
rushed heedlessly on, only to find that his visions were 
unsubstantial and his hopes were but boyish dreams. And 
yet, though he failed and did harm instead of good, he is 
the idol of his race. No story in Irish history is better 
known than that of Emmet and Sarah Curran : the story 
of how the latter was sad amid surroundings that were gay ; 
of how she pined and drooped like a lily on its stalk, in a 
foreign and sunny land, and then came back to Ireland to 
die. The Irish maiden still mourns her lot, and with 
moistened eyes still sings those wailing notes which have 
been wedded to words by the genius of Moore. With 
millions of Irishmen Emmet's speech from the dock has 
been the gospel of Irish nationality. It has been quoted 
from platforms and declaimed from the stage ; it has 
furnished texts for speeches from the desk ; it has consoled 

1 Post-Bag) pp. 421-41. 



ROBEH I EMM! I 117 

men in their prison cells; it has filled their thought* .« 
they mounted the scaffold. ( )n the whitewashed Willi 0( 

every Irish peasant 1 ! home, beside the pictures of the Pope 
and of O'Connell, there Is another that is familiar to us all 
It is that of Emmet in Ins white trou era and vest, his 

Hessian boots, his coat of green and gold, his military cloak, 
his cocked hat in his hand, his face spiritualized by ent husiasm, 
his eyes filled with the lij^ht which has never shone upon land 
or sea. Wherever the Irish race has gone it is the same, 
and abroad or at home the name of Emmet is one with 
which to conjure. And if a time should ever come — and 
who can foresee the destinies of nations? — when Ireland 
would emerge into the full light of freedom, from the ends of 
the earth a scattered race would send its help to erect that 
monument which is still unthought of and to write that 
epitaph which is still unwritten. 

By the meaner spirits among the Protestants an attempt 
was made to connect the Catholics with the Rebellion. But 
the attempt failed. The Catholics were certainly disgusted 
that so far nothing had been done for them, and that instead 
of granting concessions the British Parliament had continually 
suspended the Habeas Corpus Act, and in 180 1 had put the 
country under martial law. And they were irritated in 1803 
by the conduct of the Lord Chancellor, Redcsdale, who in 
appointing Lord Fingal a magistrate took occasion to anim- 
advert severely on the Catholics, and to declare that their 
clergy taught neither loyalty nor charity. 1 A nobleman of 
stainless character and ancient name might and ought to 
have vigorously replied to this newly - promoted lawyer, 
whose letters — for there were several — were a curious com- 
pound of bigotry and insolence. But Fingal meekly accepted 
the rebuke administered to his religion, and he and others 
after Emmet's insurrection hastened to present an address 
of loyalty to the Viceroy. 

In 1805 he and others for the first time for years bestirred 
themselves and prepared a petition to Parliament, which they 
1 Annual Register, pp. 575-84. 



mi I ATHOLU Q\ i STXOM 

I took to Pitt i<< theii urprisc that Minister refuted to 

luppoti it, and toM them he would even oppose it, as In fad 

he did, when it nted \>y Lord Grenville in the Lords 

k in the Commons, Grenville was beaten by 

hy 336 tO 1-'-} On this occasion 

• appearance in the Imperial Parliament. 
Till th bad obstinately ed all solicitatio 1 to enter 

that and only in 1H05, under the Strongest pressure 

i in the hope that lie might be useful to the Catholics, 

did he give way. lie was returned for Lord Fit zwilliam's 
<ugh of Maiden in Yorkshire, and on Fox's motion 

fully maintained his great reputation, placing himself at once 

among the greatest orators in Parliament. If argument and 
eloquence could have prevailed, his speech, and those of Fox 
an 1 Wyndham, should have carried the day ; but the opposi- 
tion of Pitt was fatal, and the motion was lost. 1 

The next year the prospects for the Catholics brightened. 
1* i tt died ; Grenville became Prime Minister, with Fox and 
Wyndham as his lieutenants, Fox indeed being the real 
Master of the Ministry of all the Talents, as it was called ; 
the Duke of Bedford became Irish Viceroy ; and George 
Ponsonby succeeded Redesdale as Lord Chancellor. 2 But the 
bright prospects that had opened were soon darkened by the 
death of Fox in September. 3 The blow weakened the Ministry; 
the King's bigotry, which had slept for a time, again became 
active and aggressive ; and when the Ministers introduced a 
small measure into Parliament, simply assimilating the law in 
England to that of Ireland, and so enabling Catholics to get 
commissions in the Army, the King not only demanded that 
the measure should be at once dropped, but further that 
Ministers should pledge themselves against all concessions to 
Catholics. They dropped the measure, but indignantly refused 
to give pledges for the future, and the irate monarch dismissed 

1 Annual Register, pp. 89-97; Plowden, ii. 44-36, 81-156. On this 
occasion Pitt laid special stress on the fact that he had never given any 
specific pledge to support emancipation. 

- Plowden, ii. 274-83. 3 Ibid. 402-3. 



i in; Nl > POPERY mim PI 119 

them from office with as little ceremony m ;i farmer night 

dismiss his ploughboy. 

The Duke of Portland became Premier, with Percival 
Chancellor <»i the Exchequer and leader <>t the House <>i 
Commons; the Parliament, which was but four months old, 
was dissolved; and members going to the country with the 
cry of the Church in danger, were returned to power with an 

enormous majority. To the regret of all Catholic Ireland, 

Bedford ceased to he Viceroy and was replaced by the Duke 
of Richmond.'-' Sir Arthur Wellesley became Chief Secretary, 

Lord Manners succeeded Ponsonby as Lord Chancellor, while 

Saurin, a violent Anti-Catholic, replaced Hunkett as Attorney- 
General. Lcrcival's Ministry was often called the No- Popery 
Ministry, and so well was it known as being Anti Catholic that 
in 1807, under advice from Grattan, the Catholics presented 
no petition to Parliament. 3 

In 1806 a secret society called the Threshers made its 
appearance in Connaught. Like the Whitcboys, the members 
often dressed themselves in white shirts and made night 
attacks ; but they appeared in the daytime as well, their special 
object of attack being the tithe-proctors. 4 A rigorous adminis- 
tration of the ordinary law would have been quite sufficient to 
put them down ; but the Government wanted exceptional 
power, and in 1807 an Insurrection Act and an Arms Act 
were passed. Though Sheridan opposed these measures, 
Grattan voted for them, to the surprise of many in Ire- 
land. 5 Yet the Catholics entrusted their petitions to him 
in 1808, and in Parliament he was powerfully supported by 
Ponsonby, now the leader of the Opposition, since Lord 
Hardwicke had gone to the Lords as Earl Grey. To induce 
the Ministry to yield, both these Irishmen, with the authority 
of the Irish Catholics, proposed to give the King a veto on the 
appointment of Catholic Bishops. Lord Fingal, the delegate 
sent to London from the Catholic body, certainly so instructed 

1 Plowden, ii. 500-501 ; Annual Register, p. 136. 
- Plowden, ii. 542, iii. 645. 3 Ibid. ii. 521-38. 

4 Ibid, iii. 405-8. 5 Ibid. 563-86. 



111! « \1 IK )l.l« : I iTK I 

ttan, u did Di Milner, an English Bishop, who on many 

it of the Irish ( atholic Bishops, But 

thei i nisun lomcwhcrc, Pingal had distinctly 

i hi ictioni in making any such proposal, and 

1 )i Slilner did not represent the Irish Bishops, who, when they 

in -t in Dublin, declared by a ; to > votes that they wanted no 

• in tlu- existing mode* of appointing to the Episcopacy. 1 

Hut whether the Catholics would agree to the Veto or not, the 

rernment would give them nothing. Grattanand Ponsonby 

were defeated by 18] to 128 votes; Mr. Parnell's motions 

for a commutation of tithes in 1809 and 1810 were defeated 

by large majorities also ; and in the latter year Grattan was 

•ate 1 by 213 to 109 votes when he presented the Catholic 
l> stition. 1 

Such pro iv , was slow, nor would it be otherwise until 
among the Catholic Committee both men and methods were 
changed. During the Rebellion and the years following the 
Union that body had not met at all. And when it was 
revived in 1805 its existence was languid, its meetings irregular, 
its activity confined to preparing petitions. Its leading 
members, Lords Gormanstown and Trimleston, were out of 
touch with the people ; Fingal had courage though he had 
shown little spirit in his correspondence with Lord Redesdale ; 
neither Lord French nor Mr. Hussey was a man of ability; Mr. 
Scully was a clever lawyer and nothing more ; Mr. Clinch was 
learned but impractical ; Dromgoole was a Catholic bigot and 
ill suited to win Protestant support. As for Keogh, whose 
services were so valuable in the past, he was old and not easily- 
managed. 4 These leaders for the most part stood in constant 
dread of provoking the wrath of the Government and were 
timid ; there were jealousies and divisions among them ; and 
the question of the Veto still further divided them, for while 
Fingal and some of his friends favoured it, the Bishops, backed 
up by the whole weight of Catholic opinion, opposed it. 5 To 

1 Plowden, iii. 644-77, 696-700, 810-25. 2 Ibid. 657. 

3 Ibid. 729-32, 827-58. 4 Wyse, i. 136-64. 

5 Wyse, i. 171 ; Plowden, iii. 677-95, 833-75. 



DANIEL O'CONN ELL III 

meet in Dublin from time to time, to make professions o{ 
loyalty to the King, to prepare petition! and present them to 
Parliament was nothing better than ploughing the tai i 

TheM weapons had bee OmC I U ity and useless. It was ne< < .u y 
that the masses and not merely the claSSCS ihould .i< I , lhal 
(here should be more vigour and determinat ion ; that the 
united Catholic body should demand eoiu ev.ions, not as ;i 

favour but as a right And the history ol the British Parlia 

ment in its treatment of Ireland has been, that it is only when 
the country is fiercely agitated as the sea is in • storm, when 
it utters the language of menace and speaks with the VOlCC <>f 
the whirlwind, only then are concessions given. 

To do these things a leader, above all, was necessary, and 

the leader appeared in the person of Daniel O'Connell. Bom 
of an old Catholic family in Kerry in 1775, he was educated 
at St. Omer in France, studied law in London and Dublin, 
and was called to the Irish Bar in 1800. When quite young 
he wrote in his Journal ' that he would steadily attach himself 
to the interests of Ireland ; and that he believed moderation 
to be the true character of patriotism. In France he had seen 
the horrors of the Revolution ; in Ireland the horrors of 1798; 
and during his whole life he abhorred both revolution and 
rebellion, as he did the shedding of blood. No man felt more 
keenly the treatment of his co-religionists, but he believed their 
rights could be won by agitation ; and he had all the qualities 
that go to make a successful agitator. His frame was that 
of Hercules ; he was capable of extreme bodily and mental 
exertion ; he spoke Irish and English with equal fluency, and 
could therefore reach the masses of the people. A great orator 
and debater, he was a master of sarcasm and invective, and in 
Parliament it was woe to the member who attacked himself or 
his country. A great lawyer, and always on the popular side, he 
was the terror of Crown lawyers and Crown witnesses, and the 
partisan judge on the bench shrank from an encounter with him. 
But it was on an Irish hillside, in presence of an immense 
crowd, that he was at his best. He knew the people as the 
1 Housten's (yCo?inclPs Early Life and Journal, pp. 193, 202. 



1 in C vi HOLK Ql i l I- <\ 

it mil ician in. in tti uiiicnt, and could play on their 

s with equal ikill His vn [ce rang out clearly as a bell, 

I as h audience laughi wept, grew sad or 

i 1 they heads high with pride when Ik* told them 

they were the finest peasantry In the world, or muttered cui 

' the G rnment when he recounted Its <^il deeds. 
Though of undaunted courage, he had no sympathy with 

( LUtioUSly picked hi y amid Acts of 

Parliament, and evaded them as few men could, and made- the 
people In unity and organization fed their strength and respect 
themselves ; and while feeling loyalty to the reigning sovereign, 

had neither loyalty n«>r respect for a Minister unfriendly to 

l .n\d. It was he who described Percival's Ministry as taken 
from the dregs of every party, 1 and it was he who sent out the 
circular in 1810 inviting the people in every district to meet 
and form local committees in correspondence with the Catholic 
Committee in Dublin." 

The Government were not slow to recognize the new spirit 
which had arisen, and under the Convention Act of 1793 had 
all such meetings proclaimed. 3 But the magistrates through 
the country refused to carry out the proclamation, 4 and the 
Committee in Dublin met as usual. Fingal and some others 
were arrested ; but Dr. Sheridan, who was the first of them put 
on trial, was acquitted. The Government was crestfallen and the 
Catholics elated, but the Catholic Committee in Dublin insisted 
that Dr. Sheridan's colleagues should also be tried, and this was 
done in 18 12, with the unlooked-for result that Mr. Kirwan, 
the person then tried, was found guilty, and thus did the defeat 
of 1 8 1 2 neutralize the victory of the preceding year. 5 

This was discouraging, but in other things which happened 
there were elements of hope. O'Connell turned the Catholic 
Committee into the Catholic Board, and thus evaded the 
Government proclamation. In 181 1 George III. became 
permanently insane, and henceforth was unable to influence 

1 Plowden, ii. 533-4. 2 Ibid. iii. 881-7. 

3 Wyse, Appendix xii. 4 Burrowes, pp. 76-77. 

5 Memoirs and Speeches of Peter Burrowes, pp. 213-85. 






PEEL AND ( »< i iNNELL I ; 

measures or men ; and his son, the !<<-< nt, was |ook< (1 on .1 ,i 

friend to the Catholics, In 1812 Mr. Percival was shol dead 
in the House <>i Commons, and Lord Liverpool, who became 
Premier, though opposed to Emancipation himself, left 
colleagues free to vote as they pleased. The foui greatest 
living statesmen In England, Lords Grenville, Grey, and 
Welles ley and Mr. Canning, refused to take office unless the 
Catholic claims were conceded. 1 Finally, in the same year 

( i 8 l a I, Canning was able to carry a resolution that the 1. 
relating to Catholics should be considered, and in the n< Xt year 

Grattan, supported by Canning and Castlereagh, and with 

wonderful eloquence by Plunkett, carried a Catholic Relief 

Hill through its second reading. In committee it was defeated 

by four votes on an amendment excluding Catholics from 

Parliament, the amendment having been moved by Abbott, the 
Speaker, a former Chief Secretary, and always a venomous 
bigot, and it was moved at the suggestion, or at least with the 
approval, of the Regent. 2 

Nor was this the only check Emancipation received. In 
1 8 12 a new Chief Secretary came to Ireland, Mr. Robert 
(afterwards Sir Robert) Peel. He was then but twenty-four 
years of age, of brilliant talents and great determination, but 
narrow-minded and illiberal, the friend and champion of the 
Orangemen. 3 In 1814 he suppressed the Catholic Board and 
attacked O'Connell. O'Connell retorted by calling him Orange 
Peel, and managed by various shifts to continue the agitation 
for Catholic rights. The two men became and continued 
bitter personal enemies. O'Connell still kept agitating. Peel 
had savage Coercion Acts savagely enforced, and to strengthen 
the hands of the Central Government he formed a police force 
independent of the local magistrates, and dependent only on 
the Executive at Dublin. In 1817 he voluntarily resigned 
office. It was said he was disgusted with Ireland, and it is 
certain that Ireland was disgusted with him. 4 

1 Shaw-Lefevre, Peel and O'Connell, p. 35. 

2 Colchester's Diary, vol. ii. 3 Jbid. ii. 468-73. 

4 Shaw-Lefevre, pp. 36-37, 46-47. 



mi C it H< »i i« QUI STION 

But ■ >rse than Heel was the revival of the Veto 

i Incd 1" divide- and weaken the 

G Hill of 1813 had been supported by 

nning and tagh, but only became he conceded the 

In the next year the Hill u.e, approved of by the 

of tin- propaganda, Cardinal Quarantotti. 1 Piui VII. 

then a prisonei "t .Napoleon, and extraordinary facilities 

had be 1 the Cardinal, which he wai not slow to use; 

did the Pope, Ofl his return to Rome in 1 S 1 5 , repudiate 

hut approve <-t the rescript in which Quarantotti had made 

known his wish to the Irish Bishops. Or. Troy was pleased, 
for the i cript had been obtained through the intrigues of 

himself and the Engli ih ( latholics. Hut the other Irish Bishops, 

who had already opposed the Veto, believing it would be 
ruinous to the best interests of the Church, were in a cruel 
difficulty. Their respect for the Pope imposed on them the 
duty of remaining silent. But O'Connell and the laity spoke 
out, and if we exclude Lord Fingal and a few high-placed 
Catholics, he had the whole Catholic people at his back. 
IMunkett was praised because he refused to concede the Veto 
in 181 3, Grattan assailed because he had conceded it; and 
when the Catholics' petition of 18 15 was to be presented it 
was no longer entrusted to Grattan but to Parnell. On the 
part of the Vetoists, however, Grattan presented petitions in 
18 16, 1 817 and again in 18 19, and in the latter year, in a 
House of nearly 500, he was beaten by only two votes. 2 

The next year Grattan died. He became ill in Ireland, 
and had he taken the advice of his friends he would have 
remained in Ireland and died there. But he insisted on 
crossing to England to present the Catholic petition. His 
strength, however, failed him, and he died in London in June. 
He had expressed the wish to be buried in his own land, but 
as the end approached an offer was accepted of a grave 
in Westminster Abbey, and there he was interred. He lies 
near Pitt and Fox and Canning, their contests over in the 

1 Wyse, Appendix ix. 
2 Grattari 's Speeches, pp. 407-12, 416, 431. 



DEATH I 'i '.i ati a.\ i 

silence of the tomb; and no one who remembei that theii 
voices often shook the senate and decided the fate of nati< 

will deny that he rests anion-; the mighty dead. And yet 

every Irishman who stand-, over his grave feels with a pang 
th.it the great patriot is not amongsl hit own, but amonj 
strangers. All around are stately monuments which srl h 
fashioned to perpetuate the features of England's great men, and 
on which eloquence has recounted their deeds. Bui the tomb 
of G rattan, obscurely placed, is only a plain flagstone inscribed 

with the name I lenry Grattan — this and nothing more. Worst 
i)( all, (i rattan lies at the feet of Castlereagh. In death it is 
surely light that enmities should cease, and on the same field 
the dust of the conqueror and the conquered are intermingled. 
And yet it would be a happier arrangement if the founder of 
Ireland's constitution and its destroyer were placed apart No 
Irishman is more respected than Grattan, no one passed through 
corrupt times with cleaner hands ; his stainless character even 
calumny has been powerless to assail. But no Irishman is 
more execrated than Castlereagh, no one was more shamefully 
corrupt ; even the lapse of time has failed to throw the pall of 
oblivion over his infamy. Nevertheless, as if to recall ancient 
feuds and reawaken bitter memories, the traitor and the patriot 
have been placed in the closest proximity ; the tomb of Grattan 
a plain flagstone, while Castlereagh, placed high on his marble 
pedestal, his proud features chiselled by art, his virtues 
pompously recounted, looks down upon his rival with mocking 
triumph. 

It was a melancholy satisfaction to Grattan at the close of 
his career that of the prophecies made by the supporters of the 
Union in I 800 not one had been fulfilled. After twenty years 
nothing had been done for a commutation of tithes, nothing 
to give Catholics the rights of citizens. Instead of religious 
animosities having been extinguished, they were still active ; 
nor was the bigotry of Clare and Foster more offensive or 
more aggressive than that ot Abbot and Redesdale and Peel. 
The discontent which had taken shape in the association of 
the Threshers, for a time suppressed, had reappeared about 



mi i \ i ii' »i.n QUI HON 

in it: form, w hen the i en n <>i 

: i . v -i ( ould the British 

l to h<- so just, find any better remed) 

•<-Nt til I loll .\< 

LI as re mlai ly a . the i ''is. Irish 

w lii- h were to | r, had de< ayed instead ; 

to ■ diminished had Increased; the national 

unequal to tin- national expenditure; the National 

Debt, which in iBoo was but / i s,ooo,ooo, was £43,000,000 

in , and in 1S17 had io Increased that the necessary 

pro two to fifteen to the British Debt i ached and 

ia ;amatcd. Protestants as well as Catholics 
Red that as earl)- as 1810 a meeting of Dublin 
19 demanded a repeal of the Union, and the Dublin 
ind Jury resolved that u The Act of Union, after ten 
Operation, instead of an rmenting the comforts, prosperity 
and happiness <>f the people, agreeably to the hopes held out 
by the advocates of that measure, had produced an accumula- 
tion of distress ; and instead of cementing, they feared that, 
if not repealed, it might endanger the connexion between the 
sister island Nor was it much consolation to know that 

all the principal instruments in passing the Act of Union 
had fared badly. It was, however, true. Clare had died with a 
howling mob at his windows, and dead cats had been thrown 
on his coffin. Pitt died when his arch-enemy Napoleon had 
just humbled Austria and Russia and spoiled all his plans. 
George III. for the last nine years of his life was a hopeless 
lunatic. Lastly, Castlereagh, who had become one of the 
most unpopular men in England, ended his days in 1822 
by cutting his throat ; and an angry and menacing crowd 
hooted and hissed as his body was borne to Westminster 
Abbey. 

In the meantime the Catholics for a brief period in the 
previous year were filled with hope. In 1820 George III. 
died, and his son and successor, George IV., came to Ireland 

1 Grattaris Life, v. 370-71 ; Plowden, ii. 9- 10. 

2 Grattari's Life, v. 419; Plowden, iii. 897. 



CE< >R< >E IV. VISITS IRELA I , 

in the next year, The Irish are b courteous and hospitable 
people, and a King of England the fii I to come for (pui 
centuries, and who came with every prof< ion ol will 

was sure to be welcome, Bui further, had he not been the 
special friend of Fox and Sheridan and I rrattan, arid tin pen lal 
enemy of Pitt ? and thi i alone placed him high In the affi < tiom 
of irishmen, They rush d with open arms to re* \ Ive him ; the 
port al which he landed had its name changed from Dunleary 
to Kingstown ; Protestant and Catholic joined together and \ i< <l 
with each other in doing him honour, and as for O'Connell 
nothing could exceed his enthusiastic loyalty, in leaving the 
country His Majesty protested his affection for a people of 
such warm and generous hearts ; and he counselled all to avoid 
causes of irritation and to live in mutual forbearance and good- 
will. 1 But he gave no hint that the promises of 1800 would 
be redeemed, no rebuke to Protestant ascendancy, no mess; 
of hope to the afflicted Catholics. Nor indeed could any such 
message be expected from such a king. It is doubtful if a 
more degraded character ever sat upon the English throne. 
To him truth and honour were but empty names. Faithful to 
no promise and to no friend, he deserted his life-long friends 
the Whigs because he believed the Tories would be more 
indulgent to his crimes. A bad son, he vowed that his public 
conduct as Regent would be governed by filial duty and 
affection.* 2 Without any respect for religion, he opposed 
Emancipation with bitterness. Marrying beneath him, he 
publicly denied his marriage, and then went back to the woman 
who loved him, with new protestations of affection. By ill- 
treatment he drove his Queen from his house, and then charged 
her — and not unjustly, it appears — with immoral conduct, 
while he himself lived in open adultery with his mistress. The 
worn-out profligate came to Ireland for fresh scenes of riot 
and debauchery, of gluttony and drunkenness ; he came, says 
Byron, with a legion of cooks and an army of slaves ; he cared 
as little for Ireland as for Timbuctoo, and the Irish people who 
cheered him and flattered him only earned the contempt of all 
1 Wyse, Appendix xiii. 2 Colchester's Diary, ii. 316-17. 



i ill I \i ii. .1 |( ...i i Bl K 

i t and p roved that iftl mditionwa t lavery,they 

then. had conti u ted tin- \ l< . ..i lav< 

l i this date ( )'( lonnell dined at a fi leni 

h..u Wi kl rlencullen, the residence <>f Mr. O'Mara) 1 

with ■ young Catholic lawyer named Richard Lalor Sheil. 
Shell favoured th<! V< I The two gentlemen -.poke much of 
the condition of their country, and sought a remedy for Its ills, 
l h<- Catholic Committee which promi ed much had dour bul 
little, n»>i had the Catholic Board. The fact was that neither 
in I been lufficiently In touch with the masses, and perished for 

t of popular support. Their dissolution had been hastened 

by the coercive mea tures of Peel, which appear to have 
intimidated even 0*Connell. The unfortunate question of the 
Veto by dividing the Catholics Still further weakened them, and 
rendered them impotent for a renewed effort. But if Catholic 
rights were ever to be won inactivity would not do. Nor could 
any fresh organization accomplish anything which, composed 
only of peers and lawyers, confined itself to preparing petitions 
to Parliament 

Taught by experience, O'Connell was convinced that it 
was necessary to reach the people, the clergy, the professional 
men, the shopkeeper, the farmer, the labourer. They must 
assemble together and discuss their wrongs, and they must 
expose the intolerance of the Orangemen, the extortions of the 
State Church, the insolence and brutality of the squireens, the 
iniquities of the Courts of Justice. 

Nor was the time selected for the Catholics to bestir them- 
selves unpropitious. The Viceroy, Lord Wellesley, as the 
constant friend of emancipation, had so incurred the ire of the 
Orangemen that they attacked him in a Dublin theatre and 
hurled a bottle at the Viceregal box. An Orange jury refused 
to convict the rioters, and in consequence the Viceroy's love for 
the Orangemen did not increase, nor his desire to harass the 
Catholics as the Orangemen wished. 

In 1 82 1 Plunkett, aided by Canning, carried a Catholic 
Relief Bill in the House of Commons. It was thrown out by 
1 M'Donagh's O'ConneH, pp. 124-5. 



PLUNK1 ii CATH< >LH RE] n I BI1 L 

the Lords, and to put down K>RM disturbance! In Ireland 
Coercion Acti were patted then and In the following y 

However, Welletley was continued as Viceroy and I'IiinI 

replaced the bigot Saurin ti Attorney General, and when 
Castlereagh died his place was filled by Canning. Lastly, the 
question of the Veto ceased to be agitated, for the Papal Court 
leased to urge it, seeing on the one hand thai it had no! 
induced Parliament to concede anything, and on the othei that 
the Irish people would not have their bishops appointed by a 

Protestant Government. Dr. Troy also died in 1823, and not 
one of his surviving colleagues sympathized fully with his 
peculiar views on public questions. And lately there had 

been added to their number the brilliant Dr. Doyle of Kildare, 

who courageously spoke out denouncing in scathing terms the 
Government of Ireland, and demanding that her wrongs should 
be redressed. 1 

This was the state of things when O'Connell and Sheil 
founded the Catholic Association in 1823. The object was 
declared to be emancipation " by legal and constitutional 
means," and to evade the Convention Act it assumed no 
delegated or representative character. It was merely a club, 
holding its meetings once a week, open to the press, its members 
paying a yearly subscription of one guinea. Its progress was 
slow, and sometimes there was a difficulty in getting together 
the necessary ten members to form a quorum. 2 But with 
O'Connell at its head working with tireless energy it made 
headway. Before two years had elapsed it had peers and 
bishops (Dr. Doyle and Murray) and hundreds of clergy in its 
ranks. Subsidiary associations arose in every parish, their 
members paying one penny a month Catholic rent. There 
were no less than 30,000 collectors of this rent, and the 
members could be counted by hundreds of thousands. Under 
the presidency of the priests these associations had their 
meeting-place and their meeting once a week, where they 

1 Letters on the State of Ireland '; Wyse, i. 194-9; Shaw-Lefevre, pp. 
50-59. 

2 M'Donagh's Life of O'Conne//, pp. 125-6. 

Vol. Ill 79 



Tin < \ rHOLIC QUESTION 

publk questions, ventilated local grievances* trans- 
mitted then rent t<» the central body al Dublin, and got In 

advice .ml a , ,i ,taiue in their difficulties. Its 

pi - : .s .iiui p> > ■ ilann«d the ( I<»vn nuxiit that a special 

Parliament BUppre the Association was formed in 

' '5- 

At the BanM time ■ Catholic Relief Hill was introduced and 

passed the House of Commons, though it was thrown out in 

The rejected Bill also provided for payment to the 
tholfa clergy, and the disfranchisement of the 40s. free- 
holders, provisions Intensely unpopular in Ireland. O'Connell, 
however, in his anxiety for Emancipation had assented to the 
measure in its entirety, and for a short time lost the confidence 
of the Catholics. But he righted himself by expressing regret 
for what he had done and by denouncing the Algerine Act, as 
he called the Act suppressing the Association, and by being 
able to defeat the Act in forming the new Catholic Associa- 
tion for charitable and educational purposes and " for all 
purposes not prohibited by law." l 

As a matter of fact, the Algerine Act became a dead letter. 
The new Catholic Association, it is true, could not by delegates 
and Committees demand changes either in Church or State, nor 
consist of affiliated associations, nor correspond with such for 
obtaining reforms. But it could defend Catholic doctrines and 
repel Protestant attacks ; it could give legal assistance to 
prisoners and prosecute Orangemen who violated the law ; it 
could pay expenses of petitions and Parliamentary elections ; 
it could advance the cause of education and encourage an 
honest press ; it could take the census and so expose the 
iniquity of having a majority of the people pay for the church 
of a small minority. All these things it did. The Catholic 
rent continued to be collected with such success that £500 
a week was sent to Dublin. Aggregate meetings, nominally 
independent of the Association, but really organized by them, 
were regularly held in the different counties, and then Provincial 
meetings on a much larger scale. And at these meetings the 

1 Wyse, pp. 199-224, Appendices xiv. xv. xvi. 



THE Ni-w ( ATHOLIC ASSOC1 v I I 

priests exhorted, the gentry spoke, lotnetimei Protestants were 
present, and otten O'Connell of Shell came from Dublin to 
encourage the people and pour ridicule <>n their enemies, \>\ 
Doyle's pen laid bare the infamies of Irish government, and 

Fearlessly declared that if a rebellion bioke out not one of thr 

Catholic bishops would issue a sentence of excommunication 

linst the- rebels. The writings of Moore and Sheil struck 

terror into many a bigot and intimidated man)' an ciirmy o! 

the people, and in England they were aided by Jeffre) and 
Cobbctt and Sydney Smith. The English Nonconformists w< 
becoming friendly, and the Ulster Presbyterians for the moment 

forgot the virtues of John Knox and joined hands with the 

Papists against a bloated Church Establishment and extortionate 

tithes. The 40s. freeholders, who were wont to be driven 
to the poll like cattle to vote for their landlords, revolted, 
and under the influence of the priests voted for Mr. Dawson in 
Louth, and defeated the landlord and his nominees. Similar 
victories were won in Monaghan and Wcstmcath. Greatest of 
all was the victory won at Waterford. It was the stronghold 
of the Bcrcsfords, whom it was considered hopeless to attempt 
to defeat. Yet the Beresford nominee was opposed, the priests 
and agitators canvassed and organized and inspired the people 
with courage, and the candidate of the Catholic Association was 
placed at the head of the poll. 

These things happened in 1826. The next year Lord 
Liverpool became seriously ill, and resigned the Premiership 
after holding the office continuously for fifteen years. He was 
not regretted in Ireland. He was a Conservative of the meaner 
sort, with a narrow outlook and limited capacity, a man who 
had such a horror of all change that, as a French writer wittily 
put it, had he lived on the morning of creation he would have 
begged God to preserve chaos. He was in sympathy with 
Castlereagh when he supported the despots who constituted 
the Holy Alliance ; he also supported Sidmouth in those 
repressive measures which culminated in the Six Acts and the 
Peterloo massacre. But when Canning succeeded Castlereagh 
in 1822 he compelled Liverpool to leave the Catholic question 



1 I l HoI.K QUI 1 ION 

n one in the Cabinet, and on the Catholh Relief BUI oi 

• ^ the u ic wu anning mppoi I ins 

the m on the other ilde \\.^> the Home Secretary, 

When Canning succeeded Liverpool as Premier, Catholic 

iiul was lull o( hope. But nothln done The Ring 

ttubbornly oppoted concession, and ■> did a majority in the 

l.Di - id Peel, refusing t<> take office, ince tantly attacked 

Premier, and probably helped to shorten ins days. 1 He 

died in Au u t i S_>7. 

\ nonentity named Lord Goderich succeeded Canning, but 

G o ver nment did not last, and early in 182S the Duke of 
Wellington formed a Government with Peel Home Secretary 
.rid Leader of the limine of Commons. From these two 
both declared enemies of Emancipation — no good was expected 
in Ireland, and Wellington's brother refusing to serve under 
an Anti -Catholic Premier, resigned his office of Viceroy. 
Kldon, however, was not appointed English Chancellor as he 
expected, and Lord Wellcslcy's successor, the Marquis of 
Anglesey, was not unfavourable to the Catholics, one of his 
first acts being to proclaim an Orange procession in Dublin. 
All the same, the omens were unpropitious, and it looked as if 
Emancipation, which lately loomed so large, had again, like 
the fabled island in the Atlantic, become but a speck on the 
horizon. And yet the fact was that the crisis had really come, 
and an event happened before the end of the year which 
brought the long and weary struggle to a close 

Probably O'Connell would have preferred to get Emanci- 
pation from Canning rather than from Wellington and Peel. 
But he was a practical politician, ready to accept it from any 
Ministry, and it was consoling that even under Wellington 
Emancipation was still left an open question, and therefore 
individual Ministers might vote for it or not as they pleased. 
It was hopeful also that no attempt had been made to put down 
the Catholic Association, and no encouragement given to 
Orange violence by the new Viceroy ; and still better that Sir 
Francis Burdett's motion in favour of the Catholics (in 1828) 

1 Shaw-Lefevre, pp. 80-81. 



THE < i.mi: ELI I i U -\ 

had beeil carried In the House ol Commons, though it had 
been defeated in the Lords. And O'Connell rejoiced that the 
lame tession witnessed the repeal of the Test and Corporation 
Acts ; for while these Acts remains l on the Statute Book they 
were an argument against Emancipation, and in fad had been 

often used as such. Hut it was discouraging that Peel had 

opposed Burdett*s motion, and that Wellington had helped to 
defeat it in the 1 <ords. 

In consequence it was determined by O'Connell and his 

friends that In every contested election the whole weight of 
the Catholic Association was to be thrown into the scale 

against the Government candidate. A contest soon arose 
which brought the opposing forces into the field. On a minor 
question of reform the friends of Canning still left in the 
Ministry had resigned, and in the rearrangement of affairs Mr. 
Vesey FitzGerald, promoted to the office of President of the 
Board of Trade, had to seek re-election for the Count)' of 
Clare. The Catholic Association determined to oppose him, 
though he was the son of Prime Sergeant FitzGerald, who had 
so manfully opposed the Union, and though Mr. FitzGerald 
had on every occasion supported Emancipation. O'Connell 
was appealed to by Lord John Russell and the principal Whigs 
on Mr. FitzGerald's behalf, and he would have acceded to 
their request, but was outvoted at the Catholic Association, 
and it was resolved to contest Clare. Major M'Namara, a 
popular Clare landlord, was at first asked to stand ; but after 
an unreasonable and vexatious delay he declined, and then it 
was determined that O'Connell himself should be the man. 
He could not, of course, take the Oath prescribed for a seat in 
Parliament, but if he were elected he would come thundering 
at the doors of Parliament, the representative of 6,000,000 
of Catholics, and if he were denied admittance it would be 
impossible to preserve the peace of Ireland. 

The memorable contest opened in July. Had it been 
fought out five years earlier the Catholics would certainly have 
been beaten. Success depended on the 40s. freeholders, and 
these were at the mercy of the landlords. Their little holdings 



nil I \i HOUC Q! i riON 
— often but half an were Insufficient to mpporl a family; 

the mded I IOC Oil laboill given by their landlords; 

iii arrean of rent ; and if they failed to vote 

r landlord wished, laboUf M tl no Ion 'ii and rent 

and II not promptly paid, red's Act for 
cheapening evictions 1 was had recourse to, and the freeholder 

1 his family found themselves on the roadside, and in a 

country where there was no poor law." Hut great changes 
had come. The Catholic Association had grown 10 powerful 

that it Overshadowed the Viceroy's Government. Week after 
week the Catholic rent came rolling in. Two churchwardens 

in eai h parish took account of all local grievances and sent 
their information to Dublin, and from Dublin came in return 
a Weekly Register containing the leader's speeches. 8 The 
adoption of Mr. Wyse's suggestion to have Liberal Clubs in 
h parish and County Clubs in correspondence with a head 
Club in Dublin brought all districts and counties in easy 
communication. 4 The priests, who in the beginning had held 
aloof, were everywhere members and leaders of the Catholic 
Association. A new rent was collected for the special purpose 
of aiding those freeholders who had been victimized by their 
votes at the Waterford and Louth elections, and this, while it 
emboldened the tenants, struck terror into the landlords. 5 

To such perfection had the national organization been 
brought that 800,000 Catholics had signed a petition in 
favour of the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, and 
without any difficulty Mr. Sheil's motion was carried out to 
have on a certain day (January 1828) a meeting to petition 
Parliament in every parish in Ireland. Nor was this all. 
Some French travellers had lately written letters from Ireland 
to French newspapers, and their accounts of Irish misgovern- 
ment shocked France. These newspapers were read in 
Germany and Italy, and when an English traveller in these 
countries boasted of the glory of his country, he was directed 
to look at the misgovernment of Ireland. From across the 

1 Mitchel's History of Ireland, ii. 149. 2 Wyse, i. 214. 

8 Ibid. 338-40. 4 Ibid. 342-6. 5 Ibid. 295-302. 



THE CLARE I i i I TIOM 135 

Atlantic cunt' .111 anv.iiei gTOwL Alieady the Irish emigrant, 
were so potent in the United States that thry started hiaiul 
Of the Catholic Association. \o\a Scotia and New foiindland, 
and even South America, also expressed their sympathy. 1 
Informed of these things, at last even the 40s. freeholder took 
COlirage, and though his position was .till that of a slave, he 

began to assume the manlier attitude of a freeman* 

It was in these circumstances that O'Connell issued his 
address to the Clare electors and came to Knnis with a Strong 
letter of recommendation from I )r. Doyle of Kildare. His 
tnts and helpers who had preceded him had already done 
much. Shell's eloquence was hard to resist. Tom Steele, a 
Protestant and a Clare landlord, had expressed his willingness 
to fight any of FitzGerald's chief supporters who felt aggrieved, 
and O'Gorman Mahon, and Honest Jack Lawless, all the way 
from Ulster, were equally ready with their weapons. Father 
Tom Maguire, who had lately castigated the Protestant 
champion Pope, came from Leitrim to lend his aid. Finally, 
the priests in every parish worked night and day, arguing, 
entreating, confirming the strong, encouraging the timid, urging 
all to despise the threats of the landlords, whose object was to 
keep the people still in chains. 

To these appeals an enthusiastic response was given, and 
to Ennis came the peasants of every district of Clare, from 
Burren to Loop Head, from the cliffs of Moher to the banks 
of the Shannon, and during the six days the contest lasted 
there were no less than 30,000 persons bivouacked in the 
streets of the county town. 

And when O'Connell arrived in his green carriage there 
was sent up from that mass of men such a shout as made the 
old Fergus tremble in its bed. The crowd shouted themselves 
hoarse, threw up their hats, laughed and cried by turns, while 
the women of Ennis gathered at the windows were no less 
demonstrative than the men. Nor was there any violence, or 
rowdyism, or drunkenness, but the most perfect self-restraint, 
absolute obedience to their priests. Regardless of consequences, 

1 Wyse, i. 305-14. 



mi I \ 1 HOLK i .1 i ,i ion 

ted theJf landlords. " I he landlord," 

• them, " may take mj cow, my pig, my home, oven 

i.u body, bul Ik* has no power ovei my ioul," and this was the 

iplril which universally prevail The man who promised 

mil then broke his word was considered to ha 
committed .t crime <>t the b t dye ; .uni one <>i the most 

soli-urn m >i the election was witnessed when a priest on 

the platform and iu.ooo men in front • >! it dropped <>n tl.tn 

m prayer for such a man. He had broken his word to 

the i'n St and had died suddenly on the following da)-, and the 
►pic were isked to pray to God that the dead man might 

forgiven. When the- contest dosed, O'Connell had 2054 
I >trs, while only 1075 had voted for FitzGerald. The blindest 
could see that the crisis had come, that the freeholders of Clare 
had emancipated Ireland. 1 

The Orangemen were frantic at the prospect of being 
deprived of their sacred right to trample upon the Catholics. 
One of the many worthless princes of the House of Hanover, 
the Duke of Brunswick, had lately declared his abhorrence of 
Kmancipation, and the Orangemen, choosing him for the time 
as their patron saint, established Brunswick Clubs throughout 
Ulster. Modelled on the Liberal Clubs, their declared object 
was to resist Emancipation, as the object of the latter was to 
obtain it, and when Jack Lawless, accompanied by 140,000 
Catholics, entered Monaghan for the purpose of establishing 
branches there of the Catholic Association, an organized and 
menacing mob of Orangemen met him at Ballybay, and nothing 
but the abandonment of the intended meeting saved the 
opposing forces from a bloody conflict. 

On the other hand, the Catholics held meetings in Tipperary 
at which language of extreme violence was used, and once a 
police barrack was set on fire. O'Connell, however, interfered 
and further meetings were abandoned. His return from Clare 
was a succession of triumphs, but with all his mighty influence 
he found it hard to restrain his co-religionists, and if concession 
did not come quickly it would be impossible to keep the peace. 
1 SlieiVs Speeches, pp. 46, 70 ; Wyse, pp. 370-98. 



dam. I i: < >i ii BLK DIS1 URB .\'< I 
The Catholic Archbishop <>i Armagh, l>i Curti , wra mi <»ld 

friend of the Dllkc of Wellni ;;t< 111, and to him Ik mad< 

personal appeal. But the Duke would only promi e thai if 
things quieted down in Ireland something might be dour 
The Archbishop enclosed the letter to Lord Anglesey, and the 
Viceroy in answering said thai he disagreed with Wellington, 
and that the Catholics ought not to relinquish the employment 
of all constitutional means for redress. These lettei became 
public, and Wellington Instantly recalled Anglesey! His 
departure in February [829 reminded men of the departure 
of Fitzwilliam in 1795 ; it was equally regre tt ed and created 

equal alarm as to what might follow. 1 The Ribbonmcn 
became active in Minister ; the Catholics ever) where only 
waited for the word of O'Conncll to rise to arms ; the Oran 
men became more menacing and violent ; troops were hurried ly 
sent across from England ; and it seemed as if thirty years 
after 'gS the horrors of '98 were to be renewed. 

But other things were happening behind the scenes. In 
July of the preceding year Anglesey warned the Government 
that neither the police nor soldiers could be relied on. At the 
Clare election they had repeatedly cheered O'Connell, and a 
Welsh regiment lately sent over to Waterford had been guilty 
of the same offence. It was these things that caused Peel to 
declare for Emancipation, but he was yielding to necessity 
rather than to conviction ; and while he advised Wellington 
to settle the Catholic question at once, he desired to resign office 
rather than be a party to concession. Wellington persuaded 
him to remain, and concession was decided on. 2 But the 
King was still obdurate. Wellington, however, worked well 
on his fears, pointing out that the Catholics would strike 
against rent and tithes, that the Church in Ireland would be 
ruined and the Protestants undone. At last, with rage and 
bitterness, 3 the King yielded, and when Parliament opened in 
February the King's Speech announced that Emancipation 
would be granted and the Catholic Association would be 

1 Gftviltes Memoirs, i. 154-8, 163-4; Dunlop's O'Comiell, pp. 2 1 8-20. 
- Shaw-Lefevre, pp. 92-93. 3 Greville, i. 18. 



I III I \ 1 II : l lloN 

SSSjd, Hill pa srcl both 1 [01 

• . But I tholic Relid Bill, Peel 

i I University, where 

be i ] ■ int .i i endan< y < andidate. 1 le 

turned foi the boron bury, and in March, 

■ .in houi , he introduced the Emandpa- 

i Bill. Catholic re to be admitted to Parliament and 

rporatl id to all o ept a fem of the higher, such 

the Lord Chancellorship, the office oi Viceroy, and that of 

in-Chief; Jesuits were to be banished the kii 

dom ; <uhcr religious orders rendered incapable of receiving 

charitable bequests ; bishops prohibited from assuming terri- 
torial titles ; priests from wearing vestments outside their 
churches ; and, further, the 40s. freeholders were disfranchised 

and the franchise raised to a jClO valuation. There was 
opposition in both Houses, but the Government were too 
powerful to be resisted ; and the Hill passed its third reading 
in the Commons by a majority of 178, and in the Lords by a 
majority of 1 04. On the 13th of April the Royal Assent was 
given, and on the following day the new Act became law. 
Catholic Ireland rejoiced that the measure was not clogged by 
any conditions about the Veto or the payment of the clergy, 
and all good men rejoiced that it had passed without the 
shedding of blood. Had it been carried as part of the Union, 
the Union would have been regarded by the Catholic masses 
only as the extinction of a corrupt and bigoted assembly. 
Had it been carried subsequently by Pitt, they would have 
been grateful to him for having done what their own Parlia- 
ment was unwilling to do. Had it passed when Pitt was gone, 
England would have carried out the promises made at the 
Union, and the honour of a great nation, tarnished by Pitt, 
would have been redeemed. But it passed after a toilsome 
delay of twenty-nine years ; after the promises made in 1800 
had been in every respect falsified ; after concession had been 
persistently denied ; and after a series of savage Coercion Acts 
had followed each other, year after year, with monotonous 
regularity. It passed when Ireland was roused as she had 



< \ i iioi.k RELIEF BILL PA81 I D I ;<> 

never been before; when angry Protestanti and i ( ath< 
itood fa< ing ea< h other In roenai e , when the alto rnattvc befori 
the Government was concession 01 < ivil war. Peel the 

credit to Grattan and Plunkett and ( anning; hi peech 

was grudging, bigoted, unsympathetic , and it was plain thai he 
would have resisted if he could. With s loldier's frankn< 
Wellington was plainer still, admitting that he cc d <>nly 
to avoid the horrors of civil war, 

The maimer of concession was Indeed ungracfoti The 
40s. freeholders were disfranchised !><•< ause they were no 
longer slaves of their landlords, but had the coui 
tor O'Connell, The provisions about bishops and religious 
orders were irritating. Finally, the new Act was not retro 
spective. To avoid embarrassing the Government, O'Connell 
had not attempted to take his scat, and when he did after the 

Hill was passed, he was tendered the old oath, which he 
refused. He argued with great ability at the bar of the House 
that he was entitled to come in under the new oath, but his 
claim was disallowed by 1 90 to 116 votes, and two days later, 
on the 2 1st of May, a new writ was issued for Clare. Some 
time elapsed until the Voters' Lists under the new £10 
franchise were made out, nor was it until the end of July that 
the election took place. Of course, O'Connell was elected, and 
even without opposition. In fact, his journey from Dublin to 
Limerick, and thence to Ennis, was the march of a conqueror. 1 
The slight put upon him by the Government in drafting their 
Bill — it was said to have been done intentionally by Peel — 
only endeared him all the more to his own countrymen. They 
are quick to respond to sympathy and kindness, to forget in 
concessions graciously given the wrongs of the past. But the 
manner and spirit in which Emancipation had been conceded 
showed them that it had been conceded with reluctance, that it 
was their own strength which had won, that all their appeals 
to reason and fair-play had fallen upon a barren soil, and that 
concession came not from England's justice but from her fears. 

1 M'Donagh, pp. 185-90. 



CHAPTI i: \'i 

. \ftit Emancipation 

•! ol men been able to command 10 com- 
pletely tl. hment of his fellow-countrymen ai O'Connell 

in If the long st • had ended in success the Irish 

ulily recog n ized that it was to bin success was due. 

Grattan and Plunkett had fought in the cause of Emancipation, 
I the glory of O'Connell to have succeeded where such 
it men had failed. lie was not perhaps more sincere than 
they had been fof their lincerity was undoubted — but he had 
far greater capacity for leadership ; he employed newer and 
better methods, and he knew how to employ them with greater 
skill. He was the first to teach the Catholics to demand 
equality, not as a favour but as a right ; he induced the clergy 
to join the people and lead them, and he had the satisfaction of 
seeing that the combination of priests and people was irresist- 
ible. With infinite patience, with unwearied energy, with grim 
tenacity, so unusual in an Irish leader, he had for more than 
twenty-five years combated bigotry. Grudging no labour, 
sparing no effort, he sacrificed time which was badly wanted by 
the exacting demands of his profession. His courage, his 
resource, his zeal in the people's cause could not escape 
recognition, and long before 1829 he had outdistanced all other 
leaders in the people's esteem. To the Catholics, so long 
insulted and despised, it was matter for pride that one of their 
race and creed was able to champion their cause against the 
ablest champions of ascendancy, and on more than equal 
terms. The Government informer could no longer convict 
innocence by perjury without having his infamy exposed ; the 
Crown lawyer's sneers and insults were paid back by ridicule 

140 



I VI i:.\\ \(.A.\'I r« >li 1 \i: ll< h 

and larcasm , the partisan judge who had so oft* n 1 it< n 

the Catholit client and lawyer was now confronted bj .i fearh 
advocate \v 1 »< » rebuked his partisanship and Ins bigotry, and 
laid bare his Ignorance of law ; and when the Ors 
tion of l>wl>lin was described by O'Connell as a beggarly 
Corporation and an Orange champion stepped forward to 
defend it, O'Connell met him <»n the duelling field and shol him 

dead. Sla\es t he Catholics had been in their own land, lait 

O'Connell infused into them the spirit o( freemen , theii 
ititude was unbounded, and had he a Iced them in 1829 to 

follow him to battle they would have done so with enthu 

There was, however, no necessity for such heroic n 

it is one of O'Conncll's great merits that without th< ling 

(A a single drop of blood his victor)' had been won. 

In the estimation of the more ignorant among the Catholics 

that victor}- meant the advent of the millennium. 1 Tithes and 
rents were to be reduced, recurrent famines to cease, poverty to 
he lessened, prosperity to increase. The bonfires which lighted 
the hill-tops in honour of the new enactment announced a new 
era of contentment and happiness ; and a Limerick farmer, 
being asked what he understood by Emancipation, answered at 
once that the labourer who had worked for sixpence a day 
would henceforth get a shilling. 2 These absurd hopes seriously 
entertained indicated a low state of political intelligence, and 
were not, of course, indulged in by O'Connell. When he wrote 
from London, the day after the Emancipation Bill passed, 
he dated his letter the first day of Freedom. 3 The Catholics, 
at last admitted to the rights of citizens, were theoretically on 
a level with the Protestants ; but O'Connell knew well that the 
equality was only in theory. In every country much depends 
on the spirit in which laws are administered, and the adminis- 
tration of law in Ireland still remained in Protestant hands. 
The high officers of State, from the Viceroy down, were of that 
creed ; the Under - Secretary, Gregory, who controlled the 

1 Gregory's Letter-Box, p. 267. 

- Lefanu, Seventy Years of Irish Life, p. 312. 

3 FitzPatrick's Correspondence of ' > Co?inell,\. 180. 



UTEJ EM \ v [PATIOM 

throughout tin* country, ivaa a bitter and bigoted 

Catholic i] the sheriffs, the grand jurors, the 

the inferioi courts, the ju In the superior 

of the ssjne stamp; the tithe farmer and 

tith itill supported b) rnment and by law 

in all the , tin- landlord COUld -till rack rent iind 

underpay his labourer; the Church of the m remained 

irnj I and Its ministers despised, while the scanty 

){ the Catholic masses went to maintain a Church 

which they abhorred, ami kept Its ministers in indolence and 

luxury, with fine churches and glebes and fat incomes, some of 

whom had not a single Protestant in their parishes. 1 

M ;i are mistake aid O'Connell, " who suppose that 

the history of the world will be over as soon as we are 
tncipated. That will be the time to commence the struggle 
for popular rights.'' In such a struggle the Catholic lawyer 
who wan' eat on the bench, the place-hunter who entered 

Parliament only to betray the people, would be of little use. 
Hut O'Connell was a host in himself, and had Emancipation 
done nothing else than admit him to the House of Commons, 
it would have been a great gain for Ireland. His countrymen, 
in gratitude for his services, wished to present him with a 
National testimonial, and when it was ascertained that hence- 
forth he would devote his whole time to Parliamentary affairs 
and sacrifice his lucrative practice at the Bar, the testimonial 
took the form of an annual tribute. It became known as the 
O'Connell Rent, hardly ever fell in any year below ;£ 16,000, 
and sometimes went far beyond this figure, and to the end of 
O'Connell's life was managed with great care and prudence by 
his life-long friend, Mr. P. V. FitzPatrick. 3 

Secured in this income, O'Connell ceased his practice at the 
Bar and appeared only when some great emergency arose, or 
when the lives or liberties of the people were specially 
imperilled. Quite satisfied that the Union was an iniquitous 
transaction which was inflicting serious injury on Ireland, he 

1 Creevy Papers, ii. 76. 2 Dunlop's O'Conne//, p. 222. 

3 CfConnclVs Correspondence, i. 202. 



O'CONNKLL i OORAMME 

endeavoured to have the Union repealed, and fbi thai purpo 

in the autumn and winter <>i i lo, h<- appealed In many publfc 
letteri to the Protestants for thi li aailstanee He asked then) 

to join lu'm in lessening burdens, in advancing trade and 

commerce, In establishing popular r i ■. • 1 1 1 ., in curbm;; class 
monopoly, In purifying the grand juries and cor p or a tions, In 
protecting the Parliamentary voters by the lecrecy of the 

ballot. 1 

This was his programme when he took his seat in I'arli I 
ment early in 1830. lie was then at an age when men do 
not easily accommodate themselves to new surroundm , and 
the fact that he was without a rival on an Irish platform and 
at the Irish Bar was no guarantee that he would be a sua < 
in Parliament Yet he soon became one of the greatest 
Parliamentary debaters, speaking on law reform, on Parlia- 
mentary reform, on Irish distress, even on purely Imperial 
questions, and on all these speaking well.' Hut though he 
acquired Parliamentary eminence, he could do nothing for 
Ireland, for he spoke to unsympathetic ears. A few only 
among the Liberals — the Radical section — gave him any 
assistance, and as for the Tories, they regarded him and his 
programme with aversion. They had granted Emancipation 
ungraciously and reluctantly, and they were resolved that 
there should be no further concessions. Goulburn, the Chief 
Secretary, as well as his successor, Sir Henry Hardinge, were 
patrons and favourers of the Orangemen ; they both resisted 
every attempt at popular agitation and rigorously enforced the 
Coercion Act of the previous year ; and O'Connell was satisfied 
that the only hope for Ireland was to drive the Duke of 
Wellington from power. 3 That event happened in a few 
months. George IV. died in June, and a general election 
followed in July, when the Tories came back with a diminished 
majority, and in the following November they were defeated 
and were replaced by a Whig Ministry under Lord Grey. 

This turn of events gave much satisfaction to O'Connell. 

1 Dunlop, p. 237. 2 Cusack, i. 29, 38-40. 

3 O'Conne/Z's Correspondence, i. 203-5. 



144 \i i l i' i MANCIPA1 I 

- IV, had i iti\' opposed .ill reform, and Ireland 

-«• the end ol bJi careei oi Infamy. lii> lucoei or, 

u iiii.uu I v., mi tiu* contrary, had ipoken and voted fot 

Emancipation in the Houae oi Lords, Lord Grey, the friend 

id Sheridan .mil Grattan, had lufTered for his Liberal 

ions in long exclusion from Oiffi Among his 

Mi Lord Brougham and Lord John Russell were on 

friendly terms with O'Connell ; and Lord Melbourne and Mr. 

mt had filled the office of Chief Secretary, and because of 
their Impartiality had incurred the enmity of the Orangemen. 
Lord Anglesey, the new Viceroy, had Kit Ireland in the 
previous year, telling O'Connell to continue his agitation, and 

with a reputation for justice and fair-play not inferior to that of 
Lord Fltawilliam. As for Stanley, the new Chief Secretary, 
he was a young man of thirty, not yet tried in any high 
office ; but he was known to be a man of great courage and 
ability, and of splendid debating power, who had already made 
his mark in Parliament. O'Connell himself was satisfied that 
Anglesey was going to Ireland with the best intentions, and he 
hoped that he would at least alleviate, if he could not cure, the 
national miseries. 1 

These hopes were soon blighted. Before his departure 
for Ireland, Anglesey had an interview with O'Connell, to 
whom he offered high Government office, hoping thus to 
purchase his co-operation and goodwill. But O'Connell de- 
clined office, and would co-operate only on condition that in 
addition to legislative reform there should be a complete change 
in the composition of the Irish Executive. Undoubtedly 
Anglesey favoured a Tithe Bill and also a measure directing the 
surplus revenues of the Protestant Church to education and 
relief of the poor ; but in these matters he was overruled by 
Stanley, who had a seat in the Cabinet, and who had at all 
times much more sympathy with coercion than with concession. 
In Irish administration the Viceroy did well in dismissing 
Gregory, but worse than ill in making Doherty Chief-Justice 
and Blackbourne Attorney-General, both of whom, especially 
1 (yConnelVs Correspondence, i. 23-33. 



o( 0NN1 i.i. AND am.i.i i \ 145 

Doherty, were intensely unpopular; while liberal uch 

as O'Loughlin and renin and Holme were left out in the 
cold 1 

()'('onnell felt specially aggrieved, i<-j Doherty was 1 
persona] .mil .1 t >i 1 1 < ■ 1 enemy, and even friends ol the Govern 
incut felt that such an appointment was needlessly irritating 
and provocative.* Alter all, if the aid of the Irish leader w 
sought for by the Whigs, something more than insults should 
he given in exchange ; the denial of concession on one side, 

met on the Other by agitation and defiance, must necessarily 
c\\(\ in conflict rather th.m in co-operation, and when Anglesey 
entered Dublin his reception was chilly, while O'Conncll 
entered the city welcomed by cheering crowds. 

While the Tories were still in office, O'Conncll had 
established the "Anti-Union Association." This, however, 
was at once suppressed by Government, as was also another 
association, " The Irish Volunteers for the Repeal of the 
Union." Then O'Conncll established " Repeal Breakfasts " 
at a Dublin hotel, at which Anti - Union speeches were 
made, and he had the satisfaction of seeing that the Crown 
lawyers could not pronounce them illegal. He had also the 
satisfaction of hurling some abusive epithets at the Chief 
Secretary, Hardinge, whom he described as " a contemptible 
little soldier," " the chance child of fortune and war." '' In Mr. 
Stanley he found a bolder and an abler foe. Every political 
Society formed was instantly suppressed, even " A Party meet- 
ing for Dinner at Hayes' Tavern." By flattering the Orange- 
men, and even drinking at a public dinner the Orange toast of 
the " Glorious, pious and immortal memory," O'Connell had 
brought Orange and Green together ; the movement for repeal 
was attaining such dimensions that Stanley resolved to strike 
hard ; and Anglesey, after consulting his law officers and having 
O'Connell arrested, declared that " things had come to that 

1 Greville, ii. 101-3, 110-11; FitzPatrick's Doyle, i. 233-50; 
OCouhcIPs Correspondence, i. 237-8. 

2 M'Donagh's OConnell, pp. 215-16, 217. 

3 Ibid. 210-12. 

Vol. Ill 80 



a I I : tNCIl I i 

pass that tlu- que thci <»' onncll 01 I -hall rule 

I 

l !■ In Januai > 18 1 1 , the trial In I 

lull month, part of the Indictment being under the 

ordinal un< let the ( '■ <-i< Ion Ad ol I To 

the ch ■ hi. it en the form onnell pleaded not 

Ity. 11 ; ., however, to pi nil! . fc< > having brol 

\ •, but with the proviso that he was not to 
judgment till April, a date lubsequently postponed 
till May. Stanley and hi-^ law officer* were jubilant at thus 
h.i. in .ht theii wist But the fact was he had 

outwitted them, for before May came the Coercion Act had 
expired, and he could no longer be punished under an Act 
which h.i ; • t. 1 

If Stanley was disappointed at the result, his Ministerial 
colleagues were not," for the Reform struggle was proceeding 

I O'Conncll's aid was earnestly sought, as it was ungrudg- 
ingly given. After the general election of 1830 he was at the 
>f a strong part)', which was augmented at the election 
in the next year. At the head of this party he saved the 
Whigs from defeat, for the first Hill was carried only by a 
majority of one ; the third and last Hill he supported at the 
head of a party of fifty-three. He supported Government 
candidates at the polls ; he consistently supported the Reform 
Hills by speech and vote in Parliament ; he even ceased his 
repeal agitation the better to aid the Whigs ; nor did he cease 
to aid them until the third Reform Bill of 1832 became law. 
For all this he got little in return. He asked for Ireland as 
part of the measure of reform an extended franchise such as 
had been given to Great Britain, but was refused. Seeing 
what Ireland's population was, he asked for at least 25 
additional members, but got only 5. He expected that 
Stanley and Anglesey would be removed, but they were 
retained after the Reform Act as before. He expected a 
change in the spirit of Irish government, and found Protestant 
ascendancy still in power, and not a single Catholic appointed 
1 M'Donagh, pp. 220-23. 2 O'ConneWs Correspondence, i. 250. 



INK I I I III. w \i: 

itipendiar) magistrate, nor a single one on tin- bench, instead 
of being thanked he was hated i>y the King, and cquall) 
Lord Grey, and In Parliament he was frequently a ailed 
Stanley with hitter invective. Worst of all, Instead oi 
measures of reform being attempted, the fii it Irish Bill oi the 
Reformed Parliament in 1833 was 1 rcion Act. 1 

At that date, it Is true, much lawl< prevailed, the 

result of great Buffering and discontent Though crops had 
failed and poverty was extreme, e rent and tithes m 

exacted ; a Vestry cess was still levied for repairs of Pro t es ta nt 

churches; ami the tithe proctor was protected and sustained 
by an insolent and lawless yeomanry/* As no redrew could 
be had from Parliament, secret societies increased— Blackfect, 

Whitefeet, Terryalts, Ribbonmen and others — and in one year 

no less than io(> murders were committed.' With the appro- 
bation of O'Conncll and Dr. Doyle, the collection of tithes was 
met with passive resistance, and when cattle or crops or 
furniture was seized by the proctors and offered at public 
auction, nobody would buy. Sometimes the people's patience 
was exhausted, and they resisted the serving of processes, and 
compelled the proctors to eat them instead of serving them. 
The result w r as collision and murder. At Newtownbarry in 
Wexford, in June 1 83 1, the people attending a tithe auction 
were fired on by the police and yeomanry, 1 3 being killed 
and many more wounded ; at Skibbereen the parson, though 
he knew that the people were in such want that they were 
living on seaweed and nettles, insisted on his tithes, and being 
resisted, his escort of police and yeomanry shot 30 persons 
dead. At Carrickshock in Carlow (December 183 1) a young 
man who endeavoured to seize the processes was shot dead, 
and the enraged crowd fell with fury on the police, killing 
1 1 of them, not a few of themselves also losing their lives. 5 
Instead of regarding these painful occurrences as the natural 

1 M'Donagh, pp. 224-6. 

- (yConnclPs Correspondence, i. 284 ; Mac Hale's Letters, pp. 202, 206. 

3 Ibid. i. 282-3 J Life of Doyle, i. 518, ii. 256. 

4 Doyle, ii. 329, 458. 

5 O'ConnelPs Correspondence, i. 277 ; Doyle, pp. 403-6 ; Mitchel, ii. 173. 



14 S 'Mil M W II A I l< »\ 

outcome of m i crying aloud for s remedy, Parliament 

only talked »»t Iri h lawlei and confiscation of Church 

id In lieu o( tithes which c * »uKi not be collet ted, the 

mi of £\ t 000,000 was voted to the Protestant 

\ Parliamentary I ommJttee then Investigated the 

titi tion , and though D Doyle had no difficulty in show- 

itial injust m, 1 ■ Liberal Government 

I nothing but | i •• rithe ( ompo Ition Act" (1832), 

making tithes payable In money , and .1 "Church Temporalitic 

33), reducing the number of Protestant bishops from 

to 1 s, diverting the saving thus effected to the building and 

repair of churches, and by consequence abolishing the vexatious 

try ce 

Hut tithes were still to be paid, and to crush all resistance 

oercion Act wa^ passed (1833) empowering the Viceroy to 
proclaim any meeting he pleased, even a meeting to petition ; 
to put any district under martial law by which all offences 
committed there might be tried in the military courts by 
military officers ; and in all such districts the inhabitants were 
bound to keep indoors from sunset to sunrise. 1 No Coercion 
Act of such atrocious severity as this had been passed since 
the Union. It seems certain from his letters to Lord 
Cloncurry, 4 it was not sought for by Anglesey, least of all 
unaccompanied by generous healing measures ; it was not 
favoured by the Ministry as a whole ; and Lord Althorp, who 
introduced it, did so without enthusiasm or conviction. 5 It was 
combated at every stage with consummate ability by O'Connell, 
aided by some of the Radicals. But Stanley fought for the 
whole Bill with desperate energy, gave a lurid picture of Irish 
lawlessness and crime, assailed O'Connell with venom and 
bitterness as the centre and guide of Irish disaffection, and at 
length, by boldness of statement, by reckless assertion, which 
his great talents made appear as arguments, he convinced 

1 Doyle, ii. 385-99. 2 Ibid. 313, 460. 

3 Mitchel's History of Ireland, ii. 178. 

4 Personal Recollections, pp. 366, 437-8, 440, 442, 450-51. 

5 (JConnelVs Correspondence, i. 331. 



.i wu.\ I \ \ri< -\ \i. BDVCA1 i« |X . I in mi i 19 

those who had been unconvinced and the measure became law, 

OVonnell was furious, | leu. nmml the Chid ScCTCtaT) M 

Scorpion Stanley, the majority in Parliament as 600 scoundrels, 
and Lord Grey and his party as "the base, brutal and bloody 
Whigs." In reality the new Act did not put down Irish 
crime. 1 Nor was it rigorously enforced, and If it had been it 
would have brought on civil war. The conviction Incres 
among the Liberals that Anglesey and Stanley uric unsuitable 
for their positions, and before many mouths the)- wen- replaced 

by Lord Wellcslcy and Sir T. HobhoUSC, who In a few months 
made way for Mr. Littleton. Anglese) was recalled without 
receiving any Office or honours, but Stanley's talents were too 
brilliant to be dispensed with, and he was promoted to the 

office of Colonial Secretary. 1 

In Ireland he had given great offence by his bitter personal 
attacks on O'Connell and by his partiality for Coercion and 
Orange ascendancy. And yet it would be unjust to deny that 
in what he did for primary education he went far beyond any 
of his predecessors, and conferred a real boon on the masses of 
the people. Seeing the utter failure of the Charter Schools to 
educate the Catholics, and believing that some education 
should be provided for them, some well-intentioned Protestants 
had, nearly twenty years previously, established a Society at 
Kildarc Street, Dublin, the object of which was to promote the 
secular education of the lower classes, leaving their religious 
education in the hands of the ministers of the different churches. 
O'Connell favoured the Society and became a member of the 
Board, and for many years it received a grant from Parliament. 
But gradually it fell into the hands of bigots and fanatics, who 
wished that the Bible without note or comment should be 
taught in every school. The result was that the Catholics 
ceased to frequent the Society Schools, and even fair-minded 
Protestants refused to identify themselves with the agents of 
Bible Societies and proselytizing institutions. Withdrawing all 
Government grants from the Society, Stanley had the Irish 

1 (yConneWs Correspondence, i. 331. 

2 Grevilles Memoirs, ii. 374, 380-81. 



Mill; I m \\< IP \ I (l »\ 

tional Education \« t passed, under which the Viceroy set 
up .1 Natl na ition Board, representative of all cree 

and undei which children <>t all creeds were to be educated, 
\ - payment to be given for reli teaching, but such 

not disallowed, and indeed was encouraged, 
though never to be given during the time set apart fur secular 

Pof many years the representation of the Catholics 

on the Board was Inadequate; 1 yet it was much to have 
Parliament i that Catholics ought to be educated at 

the expense of the State, and without any compromise of their 
faith ; and the system was tolerated rather than welcomed by 

the Catholic clergy B I an advance towards justice and fair-pl.. 

Between the new Chief Secretary and the new Viceroy the 
relations were more cordial than those which had existed 
between Stanley and Anglesey. Wellesley, whose son-in-law 
Littleton was, had no sympathy with Orange intolerance, and 
thought it hard that no serious effort had hitherto been made 
to have Catholic Emancipation a reality ; and Littleton was 
no believer in Coercion, and was in high favour with O'Conncll. 
Had his hands been free he would certainly have introduced 
measures of reform ; but such measures could not be passed 
by a Government in which Stanley and men like him held 
commanding positions. Something was urgently needed in 
the matter of tithes, for their execution was the main reason 
why the state of Ireland was one of suppressed war; 4 and 
when Littleton introduced a Bill (May 1834) commuting 
tithes into a land tax amounting to 80 per cent of the tithe, 
even Stanley supported the measure. But on a further motion 
of the Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry into 
the revenues of the Irish Church and the number of its 
members compared with the whole population, he and those of 
his colleagues in the Ministry resigned — the Duke of Rich- 
mond, Lord Ripon and Sir James Graham.' 

1 Stanley's letter to the Duke of Leinster, giving an outline of the 
scheme, October 1831 (Halliday Pamfihlets, No. 1536). 

' 2 Mac Hale's Letters, pp. 393-400. 3 Ibid. 410. 

4 G. C. Lewis's Local Disturbances in Ireland, p. 176. 

5 Greville, iii. 90. 



WHIGS Rl ii \< BD B\ i' » i ■ 1 1 ' 151 

A month lata the question <>i renewing Stanley's Coercion 
Act of the preceding yeai wan considered. Welleslcy, who at 
first favoured the re-enactment ol the whole measure, law 
reason to change his mind, and subsequently advised dropping 
the public meeting clause.; and his later view was strongly 
supported l>y Lords Althorp, Brougham and Melbourne, 
well as by Mr. Littleton. But Grey, who was as violent a 

COercionist as Stanley, would have the whole Bill and insisted 

on its introduction. 1 

In the meantime O'Conncll, who had been vigorously 
agitating the question of repeal, was induced by Littleton to 

moderate his activity, and had been assured that only a mild 
Coercion Bill would be introduced. When Grey brought in 
the harsher measure, O'Connell, believing he had been deceived, 
told the House of Commons of the assurances he had received. 
Littleton tried to explain and then tendered his resignation, 
which Grey refused to accept; while Grey himself, disgusted at 
these negotiations carried on behind his back, resigned office, 
and Lord Althorp followed Grey. 2 The King was anxious to 
have a Coalition Ministry under Lord Melbourne, but as this 
was found impossible, Melbourne formed a Whig Ministry, in 
which Althorp reluctantly consented to hold office. 3 A few 
months later, however (November 1834), Althorp succeeded 
his father as Earl Spencer and went to the House of Lords ; 
and the King, tired of the Whigs, summarily dismissed 
Melbourne and called the Tories to office under Peel. 4 After 
the General Election which followed in January 1835, 
O'Connell held the balance of power. He had aided the 
Whigs at the polls, and he now joined with them in driving 
Peel from office ; ° and then, sustained by him, Melbourne 
became Prime Minister, and retained power for six years. 

In the meantime one notable figure passed away in Ireland 
in the person of Dr. Doyle, Bishop of Kildare. He died young, 

1 Bryce, p. 335 ; Lord Hatherton >s (Littleton's) Memoirs, pp. 8-10, 
13-14, 38. 2 Greville, iii. 105-7, 113; Hatherton, pp. 57, 61-63. 

3 Greville, iii. 114, 116. 4 Ibid. 148-51. 

5 Ibid. 261. 6 Ibid. 246. 



A! Ill I I \.v ll \ I [ON 

u . old at in' death in 1H34 ; but he 
enduring fame -such fame as had not 
uired by .hi Irish Churchman since tin- day-, of St. 
Ifalach) Hb private life was that of an exemplary Christian, 
full 1 .t piety and charity and al , his episcopal rule 

in. n Led by prudence and justfc 1 •. But though scrupulously 
In the discharge o( his tical duties, he did not 

hesitate to enter the domain of politics, and during the fifteen 
that he was Bishop thru were few public questions which 
diil not atti 1 >me illuminating contribution from his pen. 
n ful of incurring unpopularity, but fearlessly 
>ke <>ut what he considered best for his country and Church. 
By frequently and fiercely denouncing Secret Societies, he 
incurred the displeasure of many who looked to Parliament 
with despair ; ' he was not averse to mixed education ;'" in 
opposition to the views of his Episcopal brethren, he joined the 
tholic Association when it had few friends;"' though he 
opposed the Veto, he was willing to consent to other securities, 4 
which most of his countrymen would not grant; and he favoured 
a poor law,' and opposed repeal,' 1 in spite of the opposition of 
O'Connell. Sometimes he earned praise from those in power, 
though he never sought it or wished it ; and no indictment of 
Irish government could be more scathing than that contained 
in his letters on the state of Ireland. Friends and enemies 
acknowledged the purity of his motives ; and the vast know- 
ledge and commanding ability he displayed before two 
Parliamentary Committees created a profound impression and 
extorted admiration from his bitterest foes.' 

To find a successor to such a man was difficult, but one 
was found in Dr. MacHale, for some years Bishop of Killala, 
and who, the same year in which Doyle died, became Arch- 
bishop of Tuam. His intellect was not less powerful than 
Doyle's, his knowledge not less extensive, his political views 

1 Fitzpatrick's Life of Doyle, i. 204-5, u - 3 2 9-3°> 409-10. 

2 Ibid. i. 10. 3 jm& 1 2 82. 

4 Ibid, i. 167, 173. 5 Ibid. ii. 207-12, 285-8, 366-72. 

6 Ibid. ii. 230. 7 Ibid. i. 402-4, ii. 385-99, 403-6. 



JOHN m.\( HALE '53 

not less sound, and he was equally without fear, His ityle of 

Writing, indeed, was without the lightness .ind graCC of 1 >< >>' 1 

and he appealed with less effei I to the prejudices of the English 
ruling classes. But, on the othei hand, he surpassed Doyle in 
Influence with the masses of his countrymen, h<- reach e d theif 
level with greater ease, and when he opposed O'Connell, as he 
sometimes did, he was a more dangerous opponent than Doyle 
had ever been. Usually, indeed, he acted with the great 
agitator, who always treated him with profound respect and 

was profoundly grateful for his assistance. But Maellaic v 

out of sympathy with O'Connell's policy during the Melbourne 

administration, and no entreaty and no arguments could change 

his views, or extort approval where he so strongly disapproved. 

The position was certainly peculiar and might well have 
caused two able and far-seeing Irishmen to differ as to the 
best policy to be pursued. In the House of Commons the 
Tories had a compact and a homogeneous party of more than 
j6o, led with consummate ability by Peel ; while in the 
House of Lords, under Wellington, they were in a permanent 
majority. Though Wellington had granted Emancipation in 
1829, he had ever since endeavoured to spoil the happy and 
healing effects of the measure by patronizing and sustaining 
Orange ascendancy ; and Lyndhurst, who was a much abler 
political leader, vehemently declared that the Irish were not 
entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, for they were 
" aliens in blood, language and religion." Had the Tories 
been as numerous as the Whigs, it is hard to say how far 
they might have gone in order to purchase the support of 
O'Connell, for an English party has always been ready to 
sacrifice much for office. Nor would O'Connell, being a 
practical politician, have rejected concessions from them, and 
would have been quick to see the advantage of an alliance 
with a party which could at all times obtain a smooth 
passage for its measures through the House of Lords. But 
an alliance with the Tories being out of the question, he 
turned to the Whigs, and here too there were difficulties. 
The Whigs, unlike the Tories, were not a homogeneous party. 



\l I I : 4< [PATH »\ 

A • : tanley, who «>n Irish que I 

h moi I i i *) than Peel, and considered any 

interference with the Irish Church if nothing li than a 

more moderate Whigs looked to Grey foi 

a leadei a man whus Irish moid v. ecially bad, and 

who i cially obnoxious to o'< onneli. Lastly, th 

uas the main body ol WhlgS and all the Kadi* . 1 1 s ready 

follow Melbourne and coalesce with ( V( onneli <>n the 
be .ions to Ireland. 1 All these parties, 

ho. whether Whig or Tory, were determinedly opposed 

to il, and when O'Connell brought forward his Repeal 

motion in 1834, only one English member voted with him, 
his motion being rejected by 523 to 38 votes. 1 

The new Parliament opened in February 1835, and l >ee l> 

though in a minority, determined to continue in office. One 
of his first measures was an Irish Tithe Commutation Bill, 

making tithes payable as a rent charge amounting to 75 

;it of the tithe. It would have been well if O'Connell 
I allowed the Bill to pass, for Ireland would then have 
been saved further years of bloodshed and strife. But he 
had set his heart on having the surplus revenues of the Irish 
Church devoted to purposes of education, and as Peel's Bill 
contained no appropriation clause, he opposed it. He was 
joined by the Whigs, with the result that on the question 
of appropriation Peel was repeatedly defeated, and in the 
following April resigned, being succeeded by Lord Melbourne. 3 
The coalition thus formed against Peel was the result of an 
arrangement entered into by O'Connell and the Whig leaders 
earlier in the year. It was often called the Lichfield House 
Compact, because the meetings were held at Lichfield House, 
though Lord John Russell repudiated the word "compact" 
and described the arrangement as an " alliance on honourable 
terms of mutual co-operation." But whether it be called a 
compact or an alliance matters little : there was certainly an 

1 Greville, iii. 242, 247. 

2 Bryce, Two Centuries of Irish History \ p. 329. 

3 Grcville^ iii. 253. 



I in l.K ill n l I' HOI i COMP U i 
Understanding, there were mutual promises made and mutual 

obligations incurred. On nil side O'Connell wa > to 

[tating repeal. C)u the other side the Wl ttle 

the question of tithes and with an appropriation clau •■ , the 
Irish municipal corporations were t«> he reformed; there w 
to be no coercion, no interference with the right ol public 
meetings, and Irish administration in .ill its brand* to 

he pin i tied. 1 O'Connell himself was anxious to gel the position 

of Attorney-General tor Ireland, hut the King WOUld Ofl no 

ount consent to give him offi< He had, however, the 

satisfaction of seeing Lord Mulgrave, an advanced Liberal, 
appointed Viceroy, and Lord Morpeth Chief Secretary, bis 
friend Mr. Perrin Attorney-General, and his friend and co- 
religionist, Mr, O'Loughlin, Solicitor-General. And it pleased 

him much that while his friend Lord Duncannon was in the 
Cabinet, both Stanley and Lord Grey were excluded. 3 

About passing a Tithe Bill there were special difficult; 
The Tories, having been driven from office on the question of 
appropriation, felt bound to continue their opposition, and 
they were backed by the House of Lords. The Whigs, 
having refused to accept a mere Commutation Bill — without 
appropriation — felt bound with O'Connell to insist on the 
larger measure, and each year a Tithe Bill with an appropria- 
tion clause passed the Commons, only to have the clause 
expunged in the House of Lords. And meanwhile the 
iniquitous system under which so much turbulence arose and 
so many lives were lost continued. At last the spirit of 
party gave way to the spirit of justice, and Whigs and 
Tories, weary of the struggle, agreed. O'Connell and the 
Whigs gave up appropriation, and a Tithe Commutation 
Bill passed, under which tithes became a rent charge 
amounting to 75 per cent of the existing tithe composition. 4 
Two years later a Municipal Reform Bill became law. Year 
after year the Bill was introduced and year after year it was 

1 O'CoiuielPs Correspondence, ii. 1-12. 

- Gre^nlle, iii. 258 ; Melbourne's Memoirs, ii. 11 8-21. 

3 Melbourne's Memoirs, ii. 128-9. 4 Bryce, pp. 362-3. 



\1 1 I i 1 •! W IIS I I 

opj -i iii the Commons, ami thrown out or amended 

in neither 1 louse * ould any 

made of the existing corporations, which were 

IctK b ;otry and corruption, <>f peculation 

i plunder. At last a Reform Hill was passed In 1H40, 

but n<>t iiiui.u to that which had been passed foi 

1 rhe franchise was fixed at £10; the corporations 

.ul not ':nt their Sheriffs nor control the police, and a 

number of the smaller corporations were aboli thed. 1 

One other remedial measure was the Poor Law- Act of 
I Poor ] ion in 1 8 \6 had reported that 

Hit of a population of 8, " >0,000, nearly 2,500,000 were for 

months In each year on the verge of starvation, 1 so that 

[ously some form of State relief was necessary. Hut 
onnell was reluctant to have any such measure 1 le 
thought the relief of the poor ought to be left to private 
nevo l ence and Christian charity, and that between the 
:itute who suffered and those who pitied and sympathized 
l were ready to aid it was wrong for the State to intervened 
Dr. Doyle, on the contrary, advocated the striking of a poor 
rate in each parish, but only as a supplement to private charity, 
and he would have this administered by the clergy and other 
representative men of the parish, who would be then able to 
detect undeserving applicants. 4 Dr. MacHale favoured relief 
in the shape of public and useful works such as the reclama- 
tion of water-lands. Dr. Whateley was opposed to workhouses. 5 
All were opposed to the introduction of the English system of 
Poor Law. Yet it was the English system which was intro- 
duced. Workhouses to the number of 1 30, one for each 
Union, were built and within a few years opened. These 
workhouses in too many cases were the scenes of sectarian 
strife and attempted proselytism ; they became the homes of 
pampered and highly-paid officials ; and side by side with the 

1 Bryce, pp. 364-5. 2 , Co?i?telPs Speeches, i. 494. 

3 Speeches, i. 453-6, 490-514; Correspondence, ii. 127, 129. 

4 Letters on the State of Ireland, Letters xi. and xii. ; Life, ii. 285-6, 
362. 5 Life, i. 199-200, 395-6 



THOM IS DRUMMOND, IRISH UND1 R-SECRETAM 

destitute And deserving poor grew up the i«il<-, the lazy, the 
vicious and the Immoral* 

These three measures, meagre, miserable and grudgii 
were all the legislative concet >k>ns that came to Ireland 
1 1 Din the I .ichfield House Compact . and when it is remembered 
tli.it the alliance lasted for six years, it cannot be denied ti 

the tree which had promised BO much fruit had DOme hut 
little. 

Much better work was done in changing the character of 

Irish administration. O'Connell's main anxiety u.e. that : 
Orangemen should cease to rule Ireland ; and the ( )ran; ;ciiicii, 
on their side, were so disgusted at his friendship with the new 
Viceroy that they derisively called the- latter the OWIulgravc. 
They had, however, much more to fear from the new 
1 fader- Secretary, Mr. Drummond. His appointment had 
been suggested by the Attorney-General, Mr. Terrin, who 
pointed out to Lord Mulgrave that, as there was to be 
change of system, there ought to be a change of men ; and 
accordingly Sir William Gosset, the Under-Secretary, became 
in 1835 Sergeant-at-Arms, and Mr. Drummond took his place. 
He was a Scotchman not quite forty years of age, and had 
formerly been an officer in the Engineers, then for some years 
attached to the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, and subsequently 
private secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord 
Althorp. 1 During his stay in Ireland he had learned to love 
its people, and he eagerly seized the opportunity of serving 
them. He was a man of fine capacity, of tireless energy, 
devoted to the public service, conscientious in the discharge 
of his duties, thinking clearly, seeing far, heedless of clamour, 
indifferent to applause, a man just, firm, fearless and strong, 
of iron determination and inflexible will. He found in Ireland, 
which -was overwhelmingly Catholic, that Catholics were 
excluded from all honours and offices. Mr. O'Loughlin was 
the first Catholic who became Solicitor-General, and the first 
Catholic Judge since the days of James II. 2 Every position 
of influence and profit was in the hands of Protestants — not 
1 Life of Drummo)id, pp. 65-66. - Melbourne, ii. 203-4. 



' M \V I! \l [< »\ 

I id I'- it i vrho wished to live 

at | \ it U tl itholii but rather those who 

to t . , militant e, intolerant, 

ai .in enemy, an< I seeming to have 

no higher ambition than to Imbrue then- handi In Catholic 

in 1827 ix»tli the Catholic atlon and the 

icd, but the latter had been 
1 and aras now more active than ever. It had it. 

alii , its oath, and pa . . - v. .md signs, its 

ritual, which ivai I CUrioui compound of love and 

Man piety and ferociouf bigotry. 1 These 

[uently paraded In ordered masses, with bands 
I bann id drums, playing such provocative party airs 

the Protestant B the Boyne Water and Croppies Lie 

D ail Their oratori insulted the Pope and ridiculed Catholic 
they gloried in the name of William III., and 
taunted the Catholi with the memory of Protestant victories 
■ I itholic defeats. Not infrequently they wrecked Catholic 
houses, destroyed Catholic [property, and wantonly sacrificed 
Catholic lives. Nor had the aggrieved Catholics any redress. 
The Constabulary, the Yeomanry, the Army were manned by 
Orangemen. The rural magistrates were recruited from the 
Orange lodges; Orange High Sheriffs took care to empannel 
only Protestant juries ; the high officials were Orangemen ; 
and the Catholic who appealed from an inferior to a superior 
Court had in some cases but a small chance of justice from 
the ermine-clad Orangeman on the Bench. To such an extent 
was Orange intolerance carried that the Protestant police 
who did their duty fairly were denounced by the lodges, as 
were those who favoured Reform or Catholic Emancipation ; 
and one Orangeman was expelled from his lodge because he 
had entertained O'Connell at breakfast. 2 

Nor was the Orange Society the only source from which 
trouble came and anxiety rose. Factions were still prevalent 
and often led to serious breaches of the peace. The neglect of 

1 Melbourtic, ii. 102-7. 
2 O'Brien's Life of Drummond, pp. 110-24, 128-32. 



THOM vs DRUMM( >ND, IRISH UNDEI i • i i i 

Parliament and the unrestrained violence ol the Oi men 
itrengthened the handi oi the Sei ret S< d the 

Ribbonnv n, absorbing the other ■•<»< leties, had grown to formid 
able dimensions. 1 The high rents paid to the landlords wl 
prices were Inflated durin , tin- ;;re.it war unc still cxadnl, 
though prices had fallen heavily with the fall ol Napoleon. 
Grasping and unfeeling parsons would have their tithes from 
poverty-stricken peasants, whose stomachs cried out foi food 
and whose bodies were clothed In raj The people led by 
O'Connell and Dr, MacHale refused to pay, conflict tied 

and blood was shed, and in the end of i s 34 the tithe battle ol 
Rathcormack recalled and exceeded the honors of Newton nbarry 
and Carrickshock. 

To grapple with all these difficulties was a task from which 
even Hercules might have recoiled. But Drummond was not 

dismayed, and gathering into his hands the! threads of Irish 
government, he manfully girded himself for the struggle. In 
spite of Orange clamour he put Catholics on the Bench and 
in the Privy Council. He appointed Catholics and Liberal 
Protestants as Sheriffs, who ceased to pack the juries with 
Orangemen. He made a personal appeal to the factions to 
cease their faction fights, and with good results ; :i and his 
evident determination to do justice had a soothing effect on 
the Ribbonmen. 1 He disbanded the Orange Yeomanry and 
had an Act of Parliament passed taking appointments to the 
Constabulary force out of the hands of Orange local magistrates, 
and thus enabling Catholics to enter its ranks. With a strong 
hand he put down Orange processions/' censured or dismissed 
officials who indulged in Orange bravado, and when a bellicose 
Orange colonel named Verner toasted the battle of the Diamond 
at an election dinner, and insolently refused either to apologize 
or explain, Drummond had him promptly dismissed from the 
commission of the peace and struck off the list of Deputy- 
Lieutenants for Tyrone. 6 

1 O'Brien's Lije of Drummond, pp. 94, 248-9. - Ibid. 78-87. 

3 Ibid. 247-8. 4 Ibid. 249-50. 

5 Ibid. 129, 232, 237-8. 6 Ibid. 259, 264. 



\! 1 I I M \\< II \l I- 'N 

lie- refused t< i I be iid ol p >H< e In the collection ol 

tithes theif duty wmm to keep tin- peace; and when it was 

have In 'i declared illegal, even the House of 

i amble t«» pronounce against him. 1 The landlords 

is enraged aa the pai irhen they were retired the 

i>oii<r iti serving pro and recovering rent They were 

when they (bund their cry for Coercion remained 

unheeded. And the Tipper. ny in who joined loudly 

in their cry, bo an e of a recent murder in their midst, were 

horrified when Drummond told them that "property has its 

dut 11 as its rights; to the neglect of these duties in 

times past (a mainly to be ascribed that diseased state of 
society in which such crimes take their rise, and it is not in 
the enactment or enforcement of statutes of extraordinary 
ferity, hut chiefly in the better and more faithful performance 
of these duties, and the more enlightened and humane exercise 
of these rights, that a permanent remedy for such diseases is to 
be sought." - 

This policy of justice and conciliation was assailed in both 
Houses of Parliament in 1837, and an attempt was made to 
exhibit Colonel Verner as a martyr to liberty and conviction. 
But a Select Committee had already, in 1835, inquired into the 
character and objects of the Orange Society, and had discovered 
that efforts were being made to spread the organization 
throughout Great Britain ; that wherever it appeared it had 
stirred up sectarian rancour ; 3 worst of all, its chief emissary 
appeared to have had the design of dethroning the King and 
putting the Duke of Cumberland in his place. In 1836 Lord 
John Russell got the unanimous consent of the House to his 
motion asking the King to discourage the society 7 , and all 
other societies of a similar character, and the King readily 
consented to do so. 4 The Orange Society of Great Britain 
then dissolved, the Irish one continued as a system of unaffiliated 
lodges, but few were ready to defend it, and even Peel with all 
his love for the ascendancy faction was unwilling to clasp Colonel 

1 O'Brien's Life of Drummond, pp. 223, 273. 2 Ibid. 273-87, 284. 

3 Ibid. 183-6, 193-5. 4 Ibid ' 216-17. 



THOMAS DRD MMOND, IRISH UNDER ECKE1 161 

Vemer tO In' 1 . I )>■■« >n i. Moi did X'ciiim'. i Ii.iiii] >\>>\ i in the 

I ords, tin I '..ii I "i Roden, succeed in winning thi b enl "I ; 
fellow peers, i^r their .iit.nl. wa effectually repelled by I 
Mul grave and Melboui ne. 1 

Two \c.us later the attack iva i newed Lord Norbury, 
son of tin- infamous Chief-Justice, himself .in inoffensive man, 
was murdered in Tipperary, nor could his murderen kx 
covered. The Toric laid the blame in Drummond'fl famot 
letter to Lord Donoughmore, and railed at the insolence of this 
Jack-in-oflfice who presumed to lecture the landlords of 
Tipperary, The ascendancy faction in the House oi 

( 'ominous was not less violent, and assailed both Drummond 
and O'Connell. Lord Morpeth in a closely-reasoned speech 

easily disposed of their charges, and O'Connell in a powerful 

speech covered them with ridicule and contempt, pointing 
them out with scorn as men who came to Parliament to vilify 
their native land. 8 The House of Lords, however, was more 
sympathetic, and Lord Roden had a Select Committee appointed 
to inquire into the state of Ireland since 1835. 4 Drummond's 
health was then indifferent, and his friends advised him to 
ignore the Lords' Committee. But he would face his accusers, 
and for seven days he was under examination. Calmly, truth- 
fully, without an atom of passion, he gave his evidence ; and 
when the long examination was over it was the Lords who 
had been vanquished, and it was Drummond who had 
triumphed. 5 

It was the last triumph of his life. His constitution had 
never been very strong, and serious inroads had been made on 
it by the constant personal attention to every detail of Irish 
administration. But not only did he fight the Orangemen and 
the Ribbonmen, and jealously watch the tithe-proctor and the 
landlord ; he also studied the question of Irish poverty, and 
sought for it a permanent remedy. 

In 1836 a Royal Commission, of which he was a member, 

1 O'Brien's Life of Drummond \ pp. 268-9. 
2 Ibid. 321-2. 3 Ibid. 322-7. 

4 Ibid. 327-34. s Ibid. 339-54- 

Vol. Ill 81 



u 111 rCIPAl IOM 

the mean \ ol « itabll thing railway 

nmunication throughout Ireland, and two yeai later it 

Usued it. it. 1 S the vast numberi of the Irish who 

v eol famine, v. Ith< »ut either land 01 labour 

•mi them, Drummond an that a crisis would ai 

with which the Pooi La* would b<* unable to cope In the 

port, largely written by him, he su d that 

public .ii' ii as the re* tarnation of waste lands should be 

>t, and further that railv 13 ihould be built. To 

y out tin commendation Lord Morpeth! In 1^37, 

introduced i Hill to expend /.2,500,00c iii the building of 

Irish railwa) . to be managed and owned by the State. But 

the l Seated the measure, to the annoyance of Drummond, 

py moment of whose ipare time the Railway Commission had 

and the work of which certainly shortened his days. 
Ili^ health failing early In 1840, he took B short vacation, but 

fa • quickly returned to his work, and continued working till his 
Strength was gone. In April a throat affection came on, 
peritonitis supervened, and on the 15th of April, before most 
of the people had been made aware of his illness, Drummond 
breathed his last. Just before the closing scene his physician 
asked where he wished to be buried, and the dying statesman 
murmured : " I wish to be buried in Ireland, the country of 
my adoption, a country which I loved, which I have faithfully 
served, and for which I believe I have sacrificed my life." 2 

In the presence of death the strident not~s of faction were 
at last hushed ; even his bitterest enemies spoke of him with 
respect ; and the Press of all shades of opinion unanimously 
declared that the world had lost one of its great men. The 
Irish peasant, so long accustomed to see an enemy at Dublin 
Castle, regarded him with something like affectionate awe. 
O'Connell mingled with the mourners who followed his remains 
to Mount Jerome. A people to whom his memory is still 
dear were determined that their gratitude should take concrete 
form, and the sculptured figure of Drummond stands in the 

1 O'Brien's Life of 'Drummond, pp. 289-314. 
2 Ibid. iii. 54-55 ; Greville, iv. 30-31. 



riu >.\i \ DRUMMOND IRISH UNDEF I CI I I i\ I 
Dublin City ll.ill with those "I Lucas and (irattan and 

()'C. niiirii. And mrely it would have been %>. « - 1 1 foi the good 
name of England had the tent acroei the Channel man) othei 
adminittratora like tin. great and ju-.t man, who ivai at once i 

1>K tO Ireland ami a glory ami ail honOUl tO hifl OWfl 

beloved S< ot land. 

His death hastened the dissolution of the Lichfield Hon 
Compact. In England that ( ompacl had never been popular. 
it was denounced by the Twos ' and the Tories; it was disliked 
even by the Whigs, who socially ostracized O'Connell. In 
Ireland Drummond's administration had the warm approval oi 

the people, hut they were disappointed at the little done for 
them in Parliament. The Poor Law Act was disliked by 
many, the Municipal Act by all, and Dr. MaeHalc wanted the 
abolition rather than the commutation of tithe O'Connell, 

in 1838, had refused the Irish Mastership of the Rolls — "he 
had not the heart to desert Ireland " ; ' but Dr. MacIIale wished 
him to desert the Whigs and adopt a policy of independent 
opposition.' The great agitator became depressed. His wife 
died in 1836; the next year he was worried with election 
petitions, set on foot for the purpose of annoying and im- 
poverishing him by a rich Tory clique in England nicknamed the 
Spottiswoode Gang. 6 Dr. MacHale's disapproval so added to 
his chagrin that he complained of having lost the confidence of 
his countrymen, declared he was miserably unhappy, and talked 
of retiring from public life and ending his days at Clongowes 
Wood College.' This melancholy mood soon passed away, 
and he continued to support the Whigs as long as they 
remained in office. But this was not for long. In 1835 in 

1 M'Donagh's O'Connell, pp. 254-6, 280-83, 380-84. 

- Melbourne's Memoirs^ ii. 119-20. "The support of : Connell was 
fatal to the English Whigs with the English Protestant middle classes " 
(Thursfield's Peel, p. 160). 

3 O'Connell s Correspondence, ii. 91-96. 

4 Ibid. pp. 143-4; Melbourne, ii. 256-7. 

5 O'Connell s Correspondence, pp. 164, 173-5. 
G Ibid. iii. 54-55 ; Greville, iv. 30-31. 

7 O'Connell' s Correspondence, ii. 193-7. 



if. 4 I ' \N' H'M I 

alii.. Ith thfl Irish thry hail a good Working majority. At 

i don In 1837, which followed the death ol 

Kn . tnd the 1 M i>\ \ i< toi la, the ii 1 ih main- 

tained tin th, but the Whiga lost ground , the Iom ol 

by-elections still further weakened them, and two yeai 
later they felt unable to continue In office. 1 

M -lUmn thru cdcd by Peel, hut the latter 

quarrelled with the Queen about the ladies <,i bei household, and 

Melbourne returned to office." The followhi u Melbourne 

defeated on a question of Irish registration.'' The next 
year (1841) he ua eatedly defeated on the same question, 

and when these rev were followed by a still greater defeat 

on the sugar duties, and this latter by a defeat on a motion 
of want of confidence, Melbourne dissolved, and having been 
beaten at the polls, Peel took office. 

After six years the Whi^s were out and the Tories in, and 
the Lichfield House Compact was at an end. 

1 Gr mi lie's . ! Ietnoirs, i v. 209-12. 

' nnelPs Correspondence, ii. 177-8 ; Melbourne's Memoirs, ii. 
300-306. 

a O'ConnelPs Correspondence, ii. 327-8. 



cm APTEB VII 
Tki Repeal Agitation 

No part of Ireland was more vehemently opposed to the 
Union thai! Dublin, and this without distinction of creed. 
The Catholics were indignant that even some of their co- 
religionists supported the measure, and in January I Soo an 
exclusively Catholic meeting was held in Dublin, at which 
Strong language was used. O'Connell declared, amid the 
rapturous applause of the whole assembly, that even if 
Emancipation followed a Union, and was its price, the 
Catholics would spurn it ; that if the alternative were offered 
them of a Union or the re-enactment of the Penal Code, they 
would select the latter ; that they would prefer to confide in 
the justice of the Protestants of Ireland, who had already 
liberated them, than lay their country at the feet of foreigners. 1 
This was good political strategy, likely to bring Protestants 
and Catholics together in defence of Irish liberty. O'Connell 
knew well that no Parliament, English or Irish, would dare co 
re-enact the Penal Code ; and it was his conviction through 
life that the Union was an evil for Ireland, and that under an 
Irish Parliament, even with all its corruption and all its bigotry, 
Ireland would be more prosperous than under any Parliament 
sitting in England. He regarded the abolition of the Irish 
Parliament as the extinction of Ireland's separate national 
existence ; he was maddened at hearing the bells of St. 
Patrick's Church ring out a peal of gladness when the Act of 
Union became law ; and he vowed that the work then done 
should, if it lay in his power, be undone. 2 

1 (yConnelVs Speeches, i. 8-9. 2 Dunlop's O'Connell, p. 19. 

165 



Illl li II Ai U.I 1 U h.\ 

i 4 the time, how i leti ; the l fnion m 

id no <>n<- was found t«» demand iti repeal. Hut 

• >i 1 hiMin (in IU4 h a 

I in e 8 1 ' ►'Connell attended and ipoke eloquently, 

the- m • in . by which the Union was pasted in 
[*hree years later, when Peel was atta< king 
ttholk Board, O'Connell' i insolation was that their 
viol ild advance the cause <>t Repeal; and when the 

long stru •! Emancipation was over in 1829, he again 

rejoiced that with the settlement of the Catholic question the 
time had come I 1 begin In earnest the struggle for popular 
rights, by which he meant the truggle for Repeal. 1 

During the second Clare Election he attacked the dis- 
franchisement of the 40s. freeholders, the Grand Jury jobbery 
in the counties, the partial administration of the law, the 
iniquities of the Church establishment. After the election, 
he p issed to the greater question of the Union, and in speech 
■r speech throughout Inland he announced that his great 
object was to repeal that accursed measure, which had degraded 
Ireland to the rank of a province, and made her " a dependent 
upon British aristocracy, British intrigue and British interests." 
In these speeches, and in a series of public letters written in 
the autumn and winter of the same year, he asked the assistance 
of all Irishmen, without distinction of creed — the Orangemen, 
the Methodist, the " unpresuming Quaker" — and he was confi- 
dent that with such unity the Union must be repealed. The 
response of the Catholics was prompt, but the Orangemen 
were not to be persuaded. Disgusted with Emancipation 
because it had placed the Catholics, even in theory, on a level 
with themselves, they still continued their party processions 
and provocative speeches ; and the Catholics resenting these 
insults, there were throughout Ireland many collisions between 
the opposing parties, with consequent loss of lives. 3 

Outside the Orange lodges there were Protestants who 

1 Speeches, i. 17-24. 2 Dunlop, p. 222. 

3 Annual Register for 1 $2Q,pp. 125-7, 129-31 ; M'Donagh's O'Comiell, 
pp. 207-9. 



0»O >NN1 l.i. ADV< H \ I i S n ii \i. >''•/ 

disliked the Union ; l > 1 1 1 there wttt few who wished to ph 
themselves under i Catholic leader. The majority thou 
ih.it the success of the Repeal movement imdei O'Connell 
would mean the establishment ol .1 Catholi* ascendancy , 
enough, they thought, had been done for the Catholics \>y the 
concession <>f Emancipation, and all further Catholic demands 

ought to he strictly resisted. It was thi . \ iew whieh found 

favour with the Government, and one .itt< t another of 

CConnell's associations were proelaimed. I lie Society for 
the Improvement of Ireland, The Friends of Ireland of all 
Religious Denominations, The Irish Society for Legal and 
legislative Relief, The Irish Volunteers of I 782 followed 
each other in rapid succession in 1830 ; but the existence of 
each was cut short by a Viceregal proclamation. And when 
the Tories were succeeded by the Whigs in the last days of 
the year, the policy of suppression was continued. Indeed, the 
Whig Chief- Secretary, Stanley, was a far more determined 
coercionist, as well as being a far abler man, than his 
predecessors. In 1 83 1 he had proclaimed O'ConnelTs new 
Association " to prevent unlawful meetings," and when the 
Irish leader invited his friends to a series of public dinners at 
Holmes's Hotel in Dublin, the result was the proclamation of 
the dinners and the prosecution of himself. 1 His further 
attempts in the same year to promote a repeal agitation were 
frustrated by the suppression of " The National and Political 
Union " and then " The Trades Political Union " ; 2 and for 
his support of the Whigs and the Reform Bill his only reward 
was the Coercion Act of 1833, the most savage enactment of 
the kind since the Union was passed. 

But in spite of the opposition of the Orangemen, the 
distrust of the Protestants, and the prosecutions of the Govern- 
ment, the Repeal movement gained strength, and at the 
General Election in the end of 1832, no less than 40 
Repealers were returned to Parliament. O'ConnelTs three 
sons and his two sons-in-law were elected. These were often 

1 John OConneirs Re collections , i. 64-66. 
- Ibid. 308-11 ; Shaw Lefevre's Peel and O ) Connelly pp. 124-5. 



mi i i Pi \i \ i i u [ON 

called his " Household Brigade"; the whole part) following 
Ivel) called f>> the Dublin Evening Post 

>nnell'fl Tail," i term which loon obtained currency not 
only in Ireland but In <in-.tt Britain. 1 

It pi Shiel, the various members, the joint* In 1 1 1 1 - 

they ivei little evidence of any 

cable talent, and O'Connell easily to w ered above them 
all Some oi them were hard to manage, and not alwa 
reliable, and one of them, I o< onnor, it w. jcially 

difficult to restrain. A landlord with little property, a barrister 
with little practice, with no political record, and no Influential 
political connexions, and with little of the world's wealth, he 
vet -ii led in carrying the count)- <>f Cork against the 
most powerful territorial Influence. 11<- carried it by his 
audacity, by his dexterity in handling the voters, by a certain 
rude and wild eloquence, which especially appealed to the 
m<> l >. J Naturally vain, his successes made him presumptuous; 
he mistook his fluency before the mob for the eloquence of 
statesmanship ; disdained to play a secondary part even t<> 
O'Connell, and aspired to become himself the leader of the 
Repeal movement. In the session of 1833 he insisted that 
the question must be at once brought before Parliament. 
O'Connell said that the time was inopportune, that Repeal had 
yet made little progress in Great Britain and none at all in 
Parliament ; but O'Connor would not be persuaded, and was 
not without support among the newly-elected members. A 
compromise was effected under which O'Connell himself was 
to move in the session of 1834^ for a Select Committee "to 
inquire and report on the means by which the dissolution of 
the Parliament of Ireland was effected, on the effects of that 
measure upon Ireland, and on the probable consequences of 
continuing the legislative union between both countries." 

His speech took nearly six hours in delivery, and in the 
early portion, in which he went over Irish history previous to 

1 Madden's Ireland and its Rulers, i. 230-31. 

2 Jo/in O'ConnclPs Recollections, i. 24-26; Madden, i. 174-84. 

• : Madden, i. 210-1 1. 



REPEAL IN PARLIAMENT 

I 7S .', In- w .i, diy, w <-.n i ,« »inc and prolix. He had 1 1 * - 1 imcl. 

difficult) in ihowing that [reland prospered from \\ to 
1 800, c\ en in it it 1 a corrupt Parliament, noi had he in describi 
tin- infamous means by which tin- I'mon was passed. J I * . 
here going over well-trodden ground, Everything thai could 
be laid had been laid during the Union debates, and in 

O'Connell'fl treatment iA' the tubjeCt there w. is nothing new. 

In going over the period since the i'nion, Ik- was able \>y 
appealing to actual events t«> test the value <»i the prophecies 
made in 1800. Instead of the measure having given Ireland 
equal laws with England, he pointed out that for twenty out 
of the thirty-four years the Constitution had been suspended. 
The Union had increased absenteeism; it had increased taxation; 
it had made Ireland poorer, without enriching England ; it 
had made her discontented and disaffected, and was yearly 
driving thousands of her children from her shores. The speech 
throughout was sober, temperate, argumentative — a carefully 
reasoned appeal to reasonable men. Shiel and Fergus O'Connor 
and others of the Repealers also spoke, but in no way 
strengthened the case made by O'Conncll. An Irishman, Mr. 
Spring Rice, spoke officially for the Government, and in a 
speech as long as O'Connell's and not inferior in ability ; Peel 
spoke for the Tories ; but Whig and Tory joined in resisting 
the motion, and when the division took place there were but 
38 for Repeal, while 523 were on the opposite side. Only 
one English member voted in the minority — Mr. Kennedy, who 
sat for Tiverton. 1 

While not expecting that his motion would have passed, 
O'Connell was so disappointed at the little support he 
received that he never again brought the question of Repeal 
before Parliament. And if Parliament had seriously taken 
in hand the various Irish grievances which clamoured loudly 
for redress, he would have ceased to agitate Repeal outside. 
" The people of Ireland," said Dr. MacHale, " do not care 

1 O'Conneifs Speeches, edited by Miss Cusack, i. 366, 451 ; Two 
Centuries of Irish History, pp. 329-30; John O'ConnelPs Recollections, 
i. 81-96. 



170 l ill ri il \l. AG11 \ l i 

it' t hi- Parliament i the moon provided they were well 

* >'( .niicll knevs this to be true , but be remem- 

I the : Imii.uk ipation, and be < ould 

thai the* British Parliament took little Interest in Ireland and 

little for her wr ong s. He was willing, however, to try 

what .t ; icdly friendly Government could do, and for 

tin a party to the Lichfield House Com" 

pact l • experiment was not very successful. Drummond's 

ntis indeed did much for Irish administration; but five 

BUpporl of .i Libera] Government brought Ireland 

nothing in enactments except the Tithes Commutation Act, 

the Poor Law Act and the Municipal Reform Act. Nor 

it possible to get more from a hostile 1 louse of Lords, 
i itro Tvative opposition and a Liberal majority, in 

it part secretly insincere, and at best but lukewarm. 
There were many who thought that O'Connell's close 
alliance with the Whigs was a mistake ; that a more inde- 
pendent course would have produced better results ; that a 
leader commanding since 1837 no less than 73 votes, and 
on whom the very existence of the Government depended, 
ought to have got substantial benefits for Ireland. But 
O'Connell clung tenaciously to the alliance, pleased that 
Drummond kept the Orangemen down, and that high legal 
offices were given to men with popular sympathies ; and 
though he had himself refused the office of Master of the 
Rolls, he had got offices for some of his relatives and friends. 
Favours of this kind, however, were of no use to Ireland, and 
in 1839 Dr. MacHale advised O'Connell to break with the 
Whigs, and it was evident that the country was with 
MacHale. 2 At last O'Connell changed. Melbourne's Govern- 
ment was plainly tending towards dissolution ; the Conservatives 
were plainly gaining ground and would soon come into office, 
to favour the Orangemen and resist reform ; and once again 
O'Connell raised the standard of Repeal. In 1838 he had 
founded the Precursor's Society, to obtain corporate reform 

1 Letters, p. 324. 
- Correspondence of O'Conne//, Yi. 164, 195. 



1 III i;l ll \l. \v < m | \'i |. ».\ 171 

.- 1 1 1< l the extension of the (ranch! <■,' and In 1 , 

of the Whigs, he founded the Loyal National Repeal 

Association. 

While not engaged in Parliament <»r following his b 
for a short vacation over the mountains of Kerry, he was in 
Dublin, and week after week in- attended Repeal meeti 
in the Repeal Rooms in Burgh (Juay. As was bis wont, 
he spoke eloquently and well, with all the old power of his 

wonderful voiee, with flashes of humour lighting Up his SUb> 

as he went along. He spoke of wli.it Grattan's Parlian 

had done for Ireland, of the shameful means by which the 
Union was passed, of the miseries that had followed. Ih- 
reminded his hearers that, when the majority in the British 
Parliament had voted down his Repeal motion in 1834, tiny 
had solemnly promised " to apply their best attention to the 
removal of all just causes of complaint, and to the promotion 
of all well-considered measures of improvement for the benefit 
of Ireland." 2 And he pointed out how even the Whigs had 
not carried out their promises. And now the Tories were 
in power. Lord de Grey was Viceroy, Lord Elliott was 
Chief Secretary, and an Englishman, Sir Edward Sugden, 
had been imported to fill the office of Lord Chancellor, and 
all these were enemies of the people. 

But the new Association made little progress. O'Connell 
spoke the truth — he spoke as a great orator and a great 
Irishman, as the leader who had won Emancipation — but it 
seemed as if he spoke to a nation that would not heed, and 
was reluctant even to listen. The clergy on whom he so 
much relied were displeased with him, and did not care to 
follow him, for they wanted the abolition of tithes ; and 
O'Connell had merely changed the payment from the parson 
to the landlord. The Bar, anxious for promotion, avoided 
an Association condemned by Government. The Catholic 
gentry, wanting favours and places and honours, would not 
break w r ith Dublin Castle. The merchants held aloof, seeing 

1 (yConnelfs Correspondence, ii. 149-50. 

2 Duffy's Young Ireland, p. 12. 



l in ii ii \1 tGlTATl 

mi I 11 iicw'iil i imitation. 11k* Orangemen were 

c4 ile, the l ints di fa ustfuL The 

under Sharman Crawford favoured a 
Home Rule and 1 m, but thought that Repeal 

.ill Involve separation from England. The Preai of 
id ol all shades nrai personally hostile to O'Connell. 
i the National Press "i Ireland was timid and nervelc 
'I'll of the people, remembering how O'Connell had 

abandoned the former agitation for Repeal in 1 83 5, thought 
that 1 renewal of th< tation would be only the prelude 
to another colla] On every lide there was doubt, hesita- 

tion, apathy and Indifference. The voice of the great leader 
lid charm no Ion /i. and to such extent had the Whigs 
>und in Ireland, and to Mich extent had the cause 
of d, that, in the General Election of 1 84 1, 

. 1 2 Repealers were returned to Parliament." Yet this 
wonderful old man of sixty-six did not despair in the midst 
of so much depression and gloom. Patiently, perseveringly, 
with grim tenacity and inflexible will, he continued his efforts 
— exhorting, arguing, convincing, strengthening the weak, 
encouraging the timid, confirming the strong, restraining the 
impetuous, assailing the enemy — never doubting that he would 
succeed ; that when the people saw he was in earnest, a 
mighty Association would arise which would ensure the 
triumph of Repeal. 

At last his patience was rewarded. In the autumn of 
1842 three remarkable young men joined the Repeal Asso- 
ciation and often attended its sparsely -attended meetings. 
These were Thomas Osborne Davis, John Blake Dillon and 
Charles Gavan Duffy. Davis and Dillon were barristers, but 
with little practice. Duffy had been assistant editor of a 
Dublin paper, and still later editor of a paper in Belfast. 
Davis was the oldest, and was but twenty-eight years of age, 
having been born in Mallow ; Dillon was from Connaught ; 

1 Duffy's Young Ireland, chap, i.; John O'Connell s Recollections, i. 313- 

14; ii- 6-7. 

- Two Centuries of Irish History, p. 377. 



DAVIS, DILLON a\i> DU1 PY 

Duffy an Ulsterman. The two lattei were ( atholici . !>•'• 
w.r. a Protestant, and In Intellectual power, In of 

character, In capacity foi leadership, he was the abl< I 
the three. He was i poet, .1 philosopher, s historian, a man 
who had read much and thought much, tolerant, kindly, 
forbearing, with broad human sympathies and a pa sionati 
love for Ireland. Duffy had much <>i tin- practical ; v mk><1 

sense of his native Ulster — fine natural talents and a con- 
siderable power of literary expression. In this latter n 

Dillon was his inferior, though his Intellect was of a very high 
order. His motives were <>f the purest, his nature without 
guile, his ambition only to serve Ireland. The surTerin 

of his poorer countrymen went to his heart, and he longed 

to strike down the power which oppressed them. No mom 
lovable character, none more respected, none more unselfish 
or courageous appeared in the public life of his time. All 
three Davis especially — had profound admiration for 
O'Connell. But they disapproved of some of his methods 
and of some of his policy, of his partiality for the Whigs, 
of his personal dislike for the Tories, — especially for Wellington 
and Peel, — of his habit of grossly flattering his friends, and 
of his unmeasured abuse of those who for the moment were 
his opponents. Equally distrustful of both English parties, 
these young men — the Young Irelanders, as they came to 
be called — favoured more toleration in Ireland, so that by 
conciliation and forbearance all Irishmen might act together 
in demanding their rights from England, and not in the 
whining language of a beggar but in the manlier accents 
of the freeman. They wanted Irishmen to cultivate self- 
respect and self-reliance, to take a pride in their past, to 
recall the far distant times when Ireland was the School of 
the West, to learn the lesson that by disunion they had lost 
and by union everything could be won. 

To give utterance to these thoughts a newspaper was 
necessary, and in the summer of 1842 Davis, Dillon and 
Duffy, under the shelter of an elm tree in the Phoenix 
Park, determined to found a newspaper. Duffy was named 



l'lll R] I"! \l. \..l 1 Ml 

id the first numbei of the Nation was published 

i ' . motto v. i i reate and foster public 

opinion in Ireland and make it racy ol the toil." it. irigour 

i thoughtfulness, iti manly tone were 
i Irish |ournalism Prom Iti pages thousands of Irish 

ilumbkille and Columbanu i, 

D • &ui and I ia, oi Bangoi and Lismore. They 

iblc to follow in the footstepi of the Wild Geese, to 

Sai t.iii at Landen, Mahony hold Cremona, and Lally 

chai <• at Ponteno) , or again to sit with Colgan in his 

itudy at Louvain. They learned something of Irish music, 

lush eloquence, of Irish valour; they learned to interpret 

the rath and dui\, the brok n arch and the ivy-clad ruin. 
And learning so much, they lifted up their heads and were 
proud of the land in which they were born. To the young 
m .1 especially the new paper appealed, and in the University, 
in Maynooth, in the colleges and schools, it was welcomed 
with enthusiasm. In the country towns, in the farmers' homes 
it was read ; and by the light of the village forge the smith 
paused from his anvil, and the villagers gathered round, while- 
some one read out from the columns of the newly-arrived 
Nation its tales, its historical sketches, its stirring appeals. 
The Times and Quarterly Review recognized its literary 
ability. Irish exiles abroad sent their congratulations, 
foreign newspapers bade it welcome, and its articles were 
copied into the American newspapers all over the United 
States. Under its influence the Repeal Association grew 
rapidly, its meetings full, its weekly rent coming in by 
hundreds of pounds, and thus did a newspaper succeed where 
even the great agitator so far had failed. 1 

In the meantime O'Connell had been Lord Mayor of 
Dublin. The Corporation long manned by Orangemen had 
been radically changed by the Municipal Corporation Act of 
1840, and in the end of 1841 O'Connell was elected Lord 
Mayor, the first Catholic who held the office since the days of 
James II. He declared that while in the Chair no one would 

1 Young Ireland, chap. i. 3, 5. 



DUB1 INO >i:i'( >i: \ TI< >N AND R] PI m »75 

know his politics; l >u t when in. \«.n «>i office expired tin. 
attitude waa abandoned, and In Februar) I Uderman 

O'Connell, he brought forward In the Corporation a motion foi 
Repeal, In .1 long speech occupying ■ whoh day he wa abl< 
to show that Ireland bad a right to a native legislative, that 
tin's had been proved by the transactions ol 1782, thai tii< 
Union was not a valid contract and had brought 1 ous 

nils on Ireland, and that it could and ought t<» l><- aboli hed 
by peaceable and constitutional means, lie had traversed this 
ground so often before that he was expected to i>< dry and 
uninteresting. But the power of a great oratoi and statesman 
asserted itself; he was neither dry nor tedious, and in freshn< 

and vigour and convincing force the speech was one of the 

greatest <A' his life. Mr, Butt, a very able lawyer and \- 
pcrsuasivc speaker, replied for the Opposition, but O'Connell'a 

motion was carried, and the once Orange Corporation of Dublin 
resolved by 45 to 15 votes to petition Parliament for Repeal. 1 

These proceedings greatly helped the Repeal movement, 
and the Repeal rent, which during 1842 did not exceed ;£ioo 
a week, rose to more than ^300 in the end of February 1843, 
advanced to nearly ^700 by the end of April, and before the 
end of May as much as ^2200 was received in a single week. 2 

From the beginning the Secretary of the Association was 
Mr. Ray — a man of methodical and orderly habits, with great 
powers of initiative and superintendence, and capable of 
attending to a great organization in all its details. There were 
General, Finance and Parliamentary Committees and various 
Sub-Committees ; there were Repeal wardens in each parish, 
and there were three Repeal inspectors, one for each of the 
three southern provinces ; and the clerical work of the Central 
Office at one time required the continued assistance of a staff 
of sixty clerks. The Association consisted of associates who 
paid is. a year, members who paid £i> and volunteers who 
paid ;£io themselves, or had that amount paid by others. 3 

1 Young Ireland, chap. vi. ; Joh?i 0' Comic/? s Recollections, ii. 223-34. 

- Nation newspaper. 
3 Halliday Pamphlets, p. 191 7 ; Attorney-General's Speech, January 1844. 



Till ii ii \1. U3I1 ITll 

Dublin was from the outset th at tronghold «-i Repeal; 

but th • Repealers all ovei the country, a, well a 

I America, and aftei ( >' 1 onncll's great ipeech 

ration the weekly meetin re always filled to 

:rflowing, Hut 0*Connell atisfied, He asked 

in the beginning of 1843 Jnl 3-' ' Rcpcalei , and 

lared that with this number h<- would certainly carry 

d to spread th< anization and give him the 

numbers he required, monster meetings were held all over 

Ireland in 1 84 

The first of these was .it Trim in March, the last in 
tober at Mullaghmast, and between these dates nearly thirty 
bad been held. O'Connell himself usually attended. 
He be had lost confidence in the British Parliament 

being unable to do justice to Ireland, and during the session of 
1S43 he kept away from London and devoted all his energies 
to the work of agitation at home. The priests were everywhere 
his organizers and assistants ; the bishops, with the exception 
of Dr. Murray of Dublin and a few others, were also with him, 
1 often attended his meetings. Not a few of the gentry also 
joined him, and the masses came from far and near to see the 
great agitator and hear the voice which to them was so dear. 
It was calculated that 100,000 attended the Repeal meeting at 
Mullingar in May ; in the same month 500,000 attended the 
meeting at Cork ; in June there were 300,000 at Kilkenny and 
400,000 at Mallow, and in August nearly a million attended 
the great meeting at Tara." These immense gatherings were 
under the most perfect control, listened patiently to the 
speakers and rapturously applauded O'Connell, and willingly 
acted on his advice to shun violence and outrage. Neither in 
going to the meetings nor in returning from them were there 
excesses ; there was no outrage or crime, no drunkenness or 
disorder. Much of this was due to the Temperance movement, 
lately started by Father Mathew of Cork. Without great 
learning or eloquence this simple priest had preached the evils 
of intemperance with such effect that two millions of Irishmen 
1 Nation. 2 JoJrn CCojinelFs Recollections, ii. 238-40. 



THE MONSTER MEETIN >77 

had taken hia total abstinence pledge. Brew* and distilk 
Buffered severely, public hou - were < 1" ed, crime diminished, 
and i. 'i i he fii l tm "* v,r>t '■ n < am< togcthei and 

separated without lawles n< 01 di order. The 1 teetotallei 
with their bands and banners man hed to the Rep< al meetii 
and acted as O'Connell's policemen, and to them In lai 
measure it was due that such discipline and ordi 1 1 u vailed, 
The liovcniiiu'iit were perplexed. A Repeal A sociati 
such as that of \^-\.\ whose members wen fe* and win 
meetings did not attract more than a few thousands, might be 
ignored, no matter how eloquent might be it- leader, or 1 
convincing the case he made ; but an Asst 1 lation which counted 
its members by millions, and whose meeting were atto nded by 
hundreds of thousands, with such a newspaper as the Nat\ 

as its organ, and with SUCh a leader as O'Connell, was too for- 
midable to be neglected. The friends of the Union, recollect) 
how Teel had surrendered to agitation in 1829, dreaded that 
once again there might be a similar surrender, and in May 
Lord Rotlen asked in Parliament what the Government 
intended to do. Peel answered that he recognized the Repeal 
movement as a menace and an evil ; that to maintain the Union 
he would use every resource placed in his hands by law, and if 
necessary seek for new and extraordinary powers ; and he added 
that if any member from Ireland demanded Repeal, he would 
resist the demand even at the cost of civil war. 1 This strong 
language was followed up by vigorous action. The Arms Act, 
which was about to expire, was re-enacted with new and more 
stringent provisions, and the clauses prescribing domiciliary 
visits, on suspicion that arms were concealed, left the people at 
the mercy of Orange magistrates and the caprice of over- 
zealous police officials. The Irish Lord Chancellor undertook 
to declare that the Repeal Association was unlawful, and 
O'Connell and his son, Lord French and several members of 
Parliament were deprived of the Commission of the Peace 
because they had attended Repeal meetings. 2 All this, how- 
ever, did not end the Repeal agitation or the troubles of the 
1 Young Ireland^ pp. 82-84. 7, Ibid. 93. 

Vol. Ill 82 



THE ii ii \i v.i i 1TI0M 

i n in the absence oi O'Conncll from Parlia- 

Bill encountered fi opposition. Mr. Shiel, 

Mr. Shai in. in < i i.i Clements (heif to the earldom 

oi Leitrim , aided \>y the English Radicals, opposed its second 

itt it in Committee, clause by clause and line by 

>1 and Mtti i their opposition that 

irly the whole session wt I in having the measure 

into law. 1 The action of the Lord Chancellor found few 

ii among his own party. It was condemned by 

th • Liberal leader, Lord John Russell ; it was denounced by the 

R i li< al snd Irish Whigs ; and as a protest Mr. Smith O'Brien, 

M.r. ror ("lair, Mr. Grattan, M.P. for Meath, Sir Richard 
Mus pave, Lord Cloncurry and many others resigned the Com- 
mission of the Peace. At public meetings O'Connell assailed 
the Lord Chancellor with unmeasured invective. He was an 

dishman named Sugden, and O'Connell asked, amid the 
cheers and laughter of his audience, would any of them call 
a decent-looking pig by the name of Sugden ? ' To settle 
disputes that might arise among the people he established 
Courts of Arbitration, presided over by those who had been 
dismissed from or had resigned the Commission of the Peace, 
and under his advice these Courts were frequented and the 
ordinary Courts of Law shunned. 

Nor did he cease to agitate Repeal. On the contrary, his 
language grew bolder and more defiant. Knowing that to 
discuss Repeal and petition Parliament were perfectly legal, 
and that no disorder had followed any Repeal meeting, he knew 
that a mere declaration of Peel was not law, and therefore he 
felt on safe ground when he attacked him. He had conquered 
him in 1829 ; he would conquer him now and make 1843 the 
Repeal year. It was true, public opinion in England was with 
the Ministry ; but in France Ireland had many and powerful 
friends, and in the United States public meetings had been 
held, at which the leading public men had used words of warm 
friendship for Ireland and words of menace towards England. 3 
O'Connell told Wellington and Peel that he was leader of 
1 Young Ireland ', 4>p. 99-101. - Nation. 3 Young Ireland, pp. 1 16-19. 



TIM < I I ATM I Ml ETING 
S,000,000 men, and could not he put down, 1 he reminded 

them that .1 large proportion of the army were Irish and would 
not fight against their own country ; and that large numbers ol 
Irish in England would strike bach if Ireland were wantonly 
assailed If all the Repealers were trained they would be 
strong; enough to conquer Europe Yet he would cling to the 
Constitution as long as there was a rag ol it left to cover him ; 
he would assist no enemy of the Constitution, he would break 
no law; but if he were wantonly and illegally assailed hi 

would not tamely submit ; and if his enemies trampled On him 
it would be on his dead body, not on the living man." 'J he 

better to rouse his countrymen he held his Repeal meetings 
on historic ground. At Tara he recalled Ireland's ancient 
glory, for he stood where Irish kings once ruled ; at Kilkenny 
he spoke of the butcheries of Cromwell ; and at Mullaghmast, 
of the treacherous murder of so many Irish chiefs. Meanwhile 
the young men of the Nation newspaper poured forth defiance 
in impassioned song, 5 and meanwhile also the Ministry refused 
in Parliament a motion of Smith O'Brien to inquire into 
the state of Ireland. Instead of concession there was to be 
coercion. Troops were poured into Ireland, barracks were 
fortified, strategic positions occupied by the army as if war was 
to be begun. Once again, as in 1829, Peel and O'Connnell 
stood facing each other in anger and menace, but on this 
occasion events shaped themselves differently, for the victory 
was with Peel. 

On Sunday the 8th of October the last monster meeting of 
the year was to be held at Clontarf. The battle-ground where 
Brian smote the Danes had been appropriately selected by 
O'Connell to hurl fresh defiance at his foes, and announce to 
his friends the speedy triumph of Repeal. But on Saturday the 
Government proclaimed the meeting, declaring that if attempted 
to be held it would be dispersed by force. Large bodies of 
troops occupied the neighbouring heights, the artillery was 
turned on the meeting- place, and the guns of the Pigeon 
House Fort swept the approaches from Dublin. O'Connell's 

1 Young Ireland, pp. 82, 91. 2 Ibid. 101. 3 Ibid. 104-5. 



i8o III; i Al. M.ll \l 1 

perpli 1 [ad he not intended to offer 

I ! .t I no right to Indulge in 

Ian ol derl \p\e under the impression 

must repel I b) And on the other hand, 

re, he should have 

■pie to be i '1. • fa I v\.t^ thai he 

n a repetition i tl thai 

thai date Ei land w .i-> divided on the Catholic question, 

while it w.i^ now united on the question oi Repeal* His 

calculations were .it fault, and he found hii in a position 

where he could neither advance without danger nor retreat 

without humiliation. There were many who thought he on-lit 

to have advanced. Legally he was entitled to hold his meeting, 
l, it Interfered with, he could have tested the value of the 

.eminent proclamation in the Courts of Law. Even if the 
ivernment had contemplated massacre, only a few thousands, 
haps only a few hundreds, would have fallen — in which case 
the whole world would have cried shame on England ; the 
i^lish party, which favoured Concession though Stopping short 
of Repeal, would have become all-powerful ; and Peel and his 
Government would have been hurled from power. Had 
O'Connell himself fallen he would have fallen with honour, 
and the massacre of Clontarf would, in part at least, have 
prevented the horrors of the great famine. Such results, how- 
ever, were out of the question with O'Connell as leader. He 
had a horror of violence, and thought that the greatest bless- 
ings of human liberty were not worth the shedding of a drop 
of blood, and he gave instant orders that the Government 
proclamation was to be obeyed. All through the night his 
messengers travelled, turning back those who were advancing 
to Clontarf, and when morning dawned it was the soldiers 
alone who held possession of the ancient battle-field. 1 

Peel followed up his victory by prosecuting for conspiracy 

O'Connell, his son John, Mr. Gavan Duffy ; Mr. Barret, editor 

of the Pilot ; Dr. Gray, editor of the Freeman's Journal '; 

two priests, Father Tyrrell and Father Tracy ; the Secretary 

1 Young Ireland, pp. 132-7; Mitchel's History of Ireland^ ii. 190-91. 



O'CONNELL PROSEC1 rED 

of the Association, Mr, Raj ; and Mr. Tom Steele, [n 
Indictment, which waa long and elaborate and In part thci 
clear nor intelligible, they were charged with attempting to 
intimidate Parliament by ■ display oi physical force, with 
exciting discontent among the people and disaffection in il \ 
army, and with bringing the Court i of Law into contempt 

rhe trial, which commenced In the middle of January, 
lasted for thirty da) The Attorney-General, Mr. Smith, and 
the Solicitor-General, Mr. Greene, in long and elaborate state 
ments, examined every speech of the defendants, every article 
and letter in the newspapers, every ballad in the Notion t< 
Incriminating details. The jury was puked, so that every 
Catholic was excluded, and the Chief-Justice, Pennefather, f- 

•tin;; that he was on the Bench, spoke as an advocate and a 
partisan. On O'Connell's side nothing was wanting in legal 

talent, and O'Connell, Shiel, Whiteside, Fit/Gibbon and Ilcnn 
were worthy of the Irish Bar in its palmiest days. Whiteside's 
speech was especially noticeable, being fully equal to the finest 
efforts of forensic eloquence cither in Ireland or elsewhere. 1 
But eloquence and legal skill were equally unavailing. In 
defending himself O'Connell preferred to address himself to the 
larger audience outside, which would be sure to read his speech 
in the newspapers. He turned with contempt from a partisan 
judge and a packed jury, treating both with scorn and defiance, 
expecting justice from neither ; and his expectations were fully 
justified when a grossly partisan judicial charge was followed 
by a verdict of guilty from the jury. A motion for a new trial 
was soon after made and refused ; and then, on the 30th of 
May 1844, the defendants were called up for sentence. 2 

The sentence was severe. O'Connell was to be imprisoned 
for twelve months, pay a fine of £2000, and give £5000 
security to be of good behaviour for seven years. The other 
defendants were to be imprisoned for nine months, pay a fine 
of £50, and give security for ^1000. One of O'Connell's 
friends in Court whispered that he was being punished for 
having preserved the country from civil war, and O'Connell 
1 Halliday Pamphlets (Whiteside's Speech . - Ibid. pp. 1917-18. 



i8i I HE i I ii u. iGIl \1 I' ffl 

himself felt it his duty to tell the ju that justice had not 

i mnd the ( lourl and In the streets 

:»ly moved and difficult to restrain; but they took 

O'C 'i!'. -'.'.' i Ivi I quietly went to their homes while the 

driven off to Richmond prison. They were 

h isideration, and suffered nothing but the 

f theii lb ty. They had good rooms, lived with their 

dined and bi takfasted together, di cussed public 

questions without hindrance, could and entertain visitors, 

I write and read whatever they pleased. By the country 
outside they w re regarded as martyrs and heroes — public 
meetin re held to denounce the trial, and public prayers 

were offered for their release, and especially for the safety of 
O'Connell. 1 

It seemed useless to appeal to the House of Lords, yet 
it was done, and in September the appeal was heard. The 
ex-Attorney-General for England, Sir Thomas Wilde, led for 
O'Connell, the Tory Attorney-General for the Crown. The 
highest legal talent was engaged on both sides, and after the 
case had been fully argued, the Lords, by three to two, reversed 
the judgment of the Irish Court. The manner in which the 
jury had been empannelled was specially condemned by the 
Lord Chief-Justice, Lord Denman, who declared that if such 
fraudulent practices were allowed to pass, trial by jury would 
be " a delusion, a mockery and a snare." 2 

On the 14th of September, amid a scene of wild enthusiasm, 
O'Connell left the prison. Seated on a triumphal car, drawn 
by six white horses, he made his journey through the streets, 
followed by the Lord Mayor and Corporation, and by the 
Committee of the Repeal Association, and by ordered masses 
of men (some in vehicles, some on horseback, some on foot) — a 
crowd which stretched back for six miles, and was computed to 
number 200,000 men. All over the country bonfires blazed 
upon the hills, bands played, houses were illuminated, the 
streets were filled with cheering crowds intoxicated with joy 

1 Young Ireland^ pp. 174-83. 
2 Halliday Pamphlets (Lord Denman's Judgment). 



THE kiii a: \ OCIATK 1H3 

i>c, ause of the deliverance ol the great 1 hief who had 1<-«1 thi no 
ably .mil so loii«; .' 

O'Connell found that the Repeal A oclation had suffered 
nothing in his absence, When the Lord Chancellor had 
superseded the Repeal magistrates there were many important 
accessions to Repeal; among them Sii Coleman O'Loghlin, Sir 
Francis Brady, MacNevin, and Thomas O'lla-an, attci 
Lord Chancellor;' and fresh accessions had also come with 
the Government prosecutions, among them a brilliant English 
man, Frederick Lucas, ami Mr. Smith O'Brien, M.P. for Clare. 
The 1. liter, a descendant of tin- ancient Thomond Kings, was a 

Protestant ami a Whig, and had Opposed O'Connell in 1X28, 
when he was elected for Clare. lie was not an orator, but he 

had considerable ability, was cool and cautions, full of courage 
and resolution, and always ready to follow where his convictions 
led. At O'Connell's special request he took charge of the 
Repeal Association while the State prisoners were at Richmond. 
Under his vigorous leadership registration was attended to, the 
conduct of members of Parliament was watched, representative 
positions were contested in the interests of Repeal, and Repeal 
reading-rooms were set up where public questions were dis- 
cussed. Irish history was studied, and the prose and poetry of 
the Nation was read and admired. 

To replace the old Repeal meeting-room on Burgh Quay 
a new and spacious room had recently been built, which 
O'Connell named Conciliation Hall ; and when he attended the 
public meetings here for the first time after his release, the 
great hall was filled to overflowing. The anxiety to hear what 
he proposed for the future was great. Before Clontarf he 
spoke often of the invalidity of the Act of Union, and proposed 
to have a National Council of 300 elected, which the Queen's 
writ could and would change into an Irish Parliament. After 
Clontarf he talked of holding simultaneous meetings. 3 And 
now he said nothing of monster meetings nor simultaneous 
meetings, nor of the Council of 300, except as an advising 

1 Young Ireland, pp. 188-92. 
2 Ibid. 94-96. 3 Ibid. 139. 



THE] 

• > pro| pt that the 

li bed. 1 

All tl Appointing, but w followed. Mr. 

Sharman I raw! id othei vv rids had just declared 

- .!, which me uit that the legislative Union must 

but that • luboi linate a embly ihould be set up in 

Dublin il with purely Irish .ui.ui . '1'hi .t decided 

>!i mere vVhiggery, and a. luch was welcomed !>>' 

i>i ll<* still favoured Repeal; believed that if both move" 

i demand might he conceded 

when the p ati would be refused, or, failing this, at least 

important c<> ins might be won. This practical policy 

. hampered when O'Connell, to the surprise of all, suddenly 
i his adhesion to Federation and abandoned Repeal. 
He 1 nothing by the sudden change. Sharman Crawford 

did not want his support and would not co-operate with him, 
and Parliam nt would certainly reject Federation as well as 
Repeal if it were advocated by O'Connell. 3 Nor would the 
younger men among the Repealers have followed him if he 
abandoned Repeal. In these circumstances he retraced his 
steps, and the Repeal Association was once more a united 
body. O'Connell himself pushed forward the work of registra- 
tion and the establishment of Repeal reading-rooms ; 4 and the 
young men of the Nation — the Young Irelanders as they were 
now called — brought out the National Library, a series of 
books dealing with Ireland and its history. 

Yet the national cause was retrograding rather than 
advancing. Old age had come upon O'Connell ; his vigour 
and energy were less, he talked no longer of monster meetings 
and little of Repeal, he delegated much of his authority to his 
son John, and he and the Young Irelanders could not agree. 
Assuming the role of Defender of the Faith, the younger 
O'Connell thought that the writings of the Young Irelanders 
were not sufficiently orthodox. He forgot that these young 

1 Young Ireland, pp. 198-9. 

2 O'Connell s Correspondence, ii. Appendix. 

3 Young Ireland, pp. 212-24. 4 Ibid. 222. 



•i in QUI EN I C0LLE01 

men were not .ill Catholic . that ©me oi thi m did not j» rha] 
undei itand Catholic teaching, nor make allowance foi ( atholi< 
susceptibilities, and that it tin-) <■<■ it was almo 

certain they did not intend it ■ and he oughl to I men 

bered that in a political association nothing fatal as tl 

introduction »>f religious controversy. O'Conncll ^\<U-i\ with 
his son ; tin- Young Irelanders, especially Di 't hurt, and 

the breach which had been opened with the di ion ol 
Federation was w idened by religious differences, and still furtfa r 
by other events which soon followed. 1 

.\n\ions to break up the Repeal Association, and sati 6 

that this COUld be ^\onc better by kindness and generosity than 

by force, Teed, in the session o[' [845, introduced three measure 

of redress, The first was a Land Bill— —meagre, grudging and 
unsatisfactory, but yet too much for the House of Lords, which 
rejected it. A second hill, which increased the grant to 
Maynooth College from £9000 to ^26,000, became law, an 1 
with the hearty good wishes both of the Young Irclandcrs and 
O'Conncll." It was the third measure which led to fresh 
disputes and divisions. This was the Act under which the 
Queen's Colleges were established and endowed. Peel was 
anxious to placate the Catholics by providing for them higher 
education ; but English bigotry would not allow them a share 
in the endowments of Trinity College, nor, failing this, give 
them a Catholic University ; and Peel's plan was a mixed 
system of education such as had been set up by Stanley for 
the primary schools. Three colleges were to be established — 
one at Belfast, one at Cork and one at Galway — and these 
were to be constituent colleges of the Oueen's University. 
which came into existence in 1850. In neither college was 
religious teaching to be endowed ; students of all religions or of 
none were free to attend lectures ; there was to be no attack 
on any religion by professors, and no attempt at proselytism. 
The colleges were to be non-resident, but the religious 
authorities might make provision to superintend the boarding- 

1 CConnclFs Correspondence, ii. 338-40 ; Young Ireland, pp. 224-30. 
- O 'Council's Correspondence, ii. 353. 



nil R] i l \l ACI1 \i i 

hou o( theii communion, and might also provide, 

.it: uic\| religious ii ion within the colle] 

l'h<- \ i uim mrere themselves of various 

to bring all Irishmen together, welcomed 

likely t<> soften religious antagonisms; but 

• ok an opposite view, holding strongly that educa- 

: not founded on religion «ra worthle i and even pernicious. 

The Catholic bishops at their meeting agreed with O'Connell. 

\fet they would accept Peel's proposals if they were tended 

that ■ fair proportion of the profes 01 • in the new colleges 

uld In- Catholic ; that the bishops «>f each province should 

be ; that in such subjects ;is philosophy and history 

then- should be separate Catholic chairs, and that a # Catholic 

1 plain should be appointed to superintend the religious 
instruction of the Catholic students. 1 The Government would 
only concede part of these demands, and then the colleges 
were branded by the bishops as dangerous to the faith and 
morals of Catholic students. Dr. Mac Hale, adopting the words 
of an English M.P., described them as a gigantic scheme of 
godless education ; and O'Connell, without even waiting for 
the Bishop's condemnation, attacked the Nation because it 
welcomed Peel's scheme, conditional, however, on its being 
amended. Before a crowded meeting in Conciliation Hall he 
turned fiercely on Davis. " There is no such party," he said, 
" as that styled Young Irelanders. It is time that this delusion 
should be put an end to. Young Ireland may play what 
pranks they please. I do not envy them the name they 
rejoice in. I shall stand by old Ireland, and I have some 
slight notion that old Ireland will stand by me." Davis, who 
felt unbounded admiration for O'Connell, was deeply hurt, and 
in replying burst into tears. The old chief, on his side, was 
profoundly touched ; there were mutual explanations and 
expressions of affection and goodwill ; and with the public 
reconciliation of Davis and O'Connell an end was put to this 
painful scene. 2 

1 O'Conne/Ps Correspondence, ii. 357-60; Young Ircla?id, Appendix to 
chap. vii. 2 Young Ireland, pp. 249-59, 263-4. 



Dl \ ! II < >i D N is 

\ lew months later Davis died. His lllnei hort, hi 

death unexpected, his loai felt by troops <>t fri< nd 

personal sorrow. Dully. I >illon, Mitehd, ^1" Mevifl, CVCfJ ' 

colder Smith O'Brien, loved him as i brotl rhough 

died voting he stands h i ; ■, 1 1 anion:; Ireland's great men. Poet, 
antiquarian, historian, orator, philosopher and tat< 

man, it would be haul to find SO gifted a man. lie thought 

deeply and clearly, had broad human sympathies, and loved 
every Irishman if only thai irishman loved Ireland. English 
by descent, though not by birth, he disliked England be* an 

she misgoverned Ireland; but his was not that blatant 
patriotism which finds expression in loud talk, impotent 
sedition and impracticable schemes. He wished to lift up 
Ireland without humiliating England; but if the great 
country continued to oppress the weaker, then he wished all 
Irishmen to unite in striking England down. No man was 
braver, none less reckless ; with the instincts of a born leader, 
he controlled the stormy spirits who surrounded him — chided, 
persuaded, restrained, preached unity, toleration and forbearance. 
These Young Irelandcrs were a brilliant band with rare talents; 
but jealousy hid her head in the presence of Davis, and all 
looked to him as their chief. His kindness, his gentleness, his 
modesty and mildness, his winning ways bound their hearts to 
him as with bonds of steel, and when he died a place was 
vacant among them which by no possibility could be filled. 
O'Connell's grief was genuine and profound. His nature was 
generous, his heart was warm, and in spite of recent differences 
he loved Davis, and was stunned at the news of his death. 
In the few years left to him he did not expect to see the like 
of Davis again, and he solemnly declared that he " never knew 
any man who could be so useful to Ireland in the present stage 
of her struggles." 1 

The death of their greatest and wisest man leaving the 
Young Irelanders without a leader to moderate or restrain, 
they became disgusted with O'Connell's want of vigour and 
decision. The intolerance of John O'Connell increased their 

1 O'ConnelFs Correspondence, ii. 363 ; Young Ireland, pp. 274-6. 



.11 \1 1 

t ic u hi 'Hi' c In I and 

tin. lowed by ■ nei* Whig Alliance and the 

abandonment i , the) I he du it ol 

1 Lill off tf Theii tion i ompletcd 

th • ruin ol .m ligation already tottering to Iti fall, and 

moth ■ had elapsed th it Repeal Association 

ha< I the end of Its cai litt le better than a 

hat had been. 1 

1 Young Ireland^ pp. 277-83 ii. 377-9- ; 

'a History of Inland, ii. si 



CHAPTER VIII 

The Famifu 

In ancient and mediaeval times such famines as those which 
occurred in the nineteenth century were unknown in Ireland. 

Meat and fish, corn and vegetables, fruit and honey supplied 

the rich. The mass of the people lived chiefly on \>< rri< 

or Stirabout (to give its modern name), a wholesome food 
made from oatmeal, and usually eaten with milk. The thrift- 
less or afflicted were sometimes reduced to eating nettle-tops 
mixed with a little oatmeal, or perhaps water -cresses or 
shamrocks. These cases, however, were exceptional in a 
land where indigence was generously relieved and hospitality 
was extended to all. 1 The partial famines which arose during 
the Danish wars were caused by the Danes themselves, who 
plundered and spoiled and murdered, destroying the people 
as well as their food ; and it was war also which caused 
the famine during the invasion of Edward Bruce. 2 

When Munstcr was desolated during the Desmond war 
(i 580-83), and Ulster laid waste by Mountjoy in his campaigns 
against Tyrone, crops were intentionally destroyed, for in each 
case the invader invoked the aid of hunger to subdue his 
opponents. In a similar spirit the Cromwellian soldiers went 
forth with scythe and Bible, the former to cut down the 
ripening Papist corn lest the resistance of the Papist might 
be prolonged. And the famines which desolated Ireland 
periodically from 1725 to 1740, and with fearful conse- 
quences in the latter year, naturally resulted from the 
movement to consolidate farms, involving, as it did, the 

1 J oyce, Social History of A ndent Ireland, ii. 141-58, 168-73. 

- Vide vol. i. 

189 



> 1 III I AM IM 

many people from their homei in no a 
did the calamity trite from the tudden and unexpected 
>[) on which the people mainly relied, and 
which had b iwn in sufficient quantity foi theii needa 

ttmeal continued for the masses to be the itaple 
But in the meantime Sir Walter Raleigh, in 
the end of the -nth century, had introduced the potato 

from Virginia, it did not, however, become at once popular; 
it nrai not sown extensively throughout the seventeenth 
itury, and even In the first quarter of the eighteenth 
tury com continued to supply food to the nation." 
i and famine effected a change. The miserable 
patches of land on which so many of the people lived, 
if planted with corn, could not produce sufficient food for a 
family, and the scanty and ill-paid labour of the occupiers 
would not enable them to effectually supplement their food- 
supply. Hut if potatoes were sown instead of corn, hunger 
might be kept from the poor man's door. Except rice, the 
potato is the cheapest food for sustaining human life." The 
ordinary produce of an Irish acre will feed a family of eight 
for a year, while at least two acres planted with corn would 
be required. 4 The latter, too, was subject to tithes, but the 
potato was not. Under these influences it grew in favour, 
until in Young's time potato-culture had so completely 
supplanted corn, that for nine months of the year potatoes 
and milk were everywhere the food of the poor. The 
multiplication of 40s. freeholds, following the Catholic Relief 
Act of 1793, added enormously to the number of very small 
tenants, and in consequence enormously increased the number 
of those dependent on the potato; and when in 1845 their 
one resource failed, millions were face to face with hunger. 

In 1740, as previously, the potatoes, not being dug up 
until Christmas, were overtaken by a frost of excessive severity 

1 Joyce, Social History of Ancient Irela?id, vol. ii. 

2 O'Rorke, History of the Great Irish Fa?nine, pp. 8-10. 

3 Walpole's History of England, iv. 2 1 6. 

4 Young's Tour, ii. 45-46. 



i in BLK . 1 11 "i 1845 [91 

and destroyed ; and this, added to Insufficient tillage and arant 
of employment, brought about the famine o( that and the 
following year, during which a fifth of the whole populati 
was swept away. 1 The famine o( [821 was caused by flco 
which over large acres d< itroyed the growing crc That 

of the following year, complicated l>y disease, was even woi e 

and in the* comity of Cork alone no less than [22,000 p i i n 

were supported by charity. 1 In 1831 Dr. MacHale described 
the people of Killala as being without cattle, corn, potato 
or money ; and such was the destitution that public woi 
had to be set <>n foot* Four years latei leisures for rent and 

tithes left the people along the western coast again destitute/' 

and there were partial famines throughout tin- country in 

1830, in 1837 and again in E842. 6 In 1845 the landlords 

wire still as grasping, the laws as unjust, the Government 

as unsympathetic, the skies as changeable as of old. But in 
that year, for the first time in Ireland, the potato was attacked 

by a mysterious disease which, independently of landlordism 

or law or capricious climate, was sufficient to precipitate 

a national calamity. 

The blight, as it came to be called, first showed itself in 

Germany, then in Belgium, in 1 842, after which it appeared 

in Canada in 1844, and in the next year in Great Britain 

and Ireland. In the latter country it was first seen about 

the middle of September in Wexford.' Thence it marched 

with invisible tread all over the land, poisoning the peasants' 

potato fields with the fatal breath of the simoon. The stalks, 

till then green and healthy and loaded with blossoms, 

crumpled and withered beneath its touch ; the leaves looked 

as if acid had been sprinkled upon them ; the burned spots 

grew larger until leaves and stalks were decayed ; and the 

fields, lately vigorous with vegetable life, became a putrid 

mass of vegetable matter. When the potatoes were dug up 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 14-15, 24. 2 Ibid. 30-31. 

3 Mitchel's History > ii. 154. 4 Letters, pp. 191, 206. 

5 Ibid. 373. 

6 MacHale's Letters, p. 559 ; Tzvo Centuries of Irish History, pp. 394-5. 

7 O'Rorke, pp. 48-51. 



ill! FAMINE 

it was found thai the fatal di had penetrated beneath 

il and th.tt a large pari »>i the crop was rotten. Woi e 

'•ii tin iound potato i, having \> ited from 

d -I in the pita and the pit 

• I, it v... ii that the blight had entered, 

I l.iyn! .! hand on th toe ., had rendered 

them unfit for human food Th , int, with blanched face, 

saw his food thus disappear, and as he looked .it hit children, 

M\ with fear at what th he thought oi 

the many month-, before him during which the potato was 

his and their only resource, In- WRS filled with terror and 
dismay. 

During the next few monthfl much was written and BDOk< n 

about the nature of the disease, the amount of damage done, 
the steps necessary to save the people from perishing. The 

TimiS sent over a special commissioner ; the Government sent 
two scientific experts, Professors Lindley and Playfair; police 
and magistrates were instructed to report to Dublin Castle; 
newspaper correspondents traversed the country ; clergymen 
wrote public letters ; editors wrote leading articles ; and a 
Committee of the Dublin Corporation was formed, one of its 
members being O'Connell. 1 The cause of the disease was vari- 
ously though not satisfactorily explained. The extent of the 
damage varied according to the district. In some districts 
the potatoes were all but completely destroyed, in others but 
little affected ; but taking the country as a whole, it was 
calculated that at least one- half of the crop was ruined, a 
loss which equalled ^9,000,000. This was the estimate of 
Professors Lindley and Playfair, and they were not disposed 
to exaggerate. So great a calamity could only be effectually 
combated by the State itself. At a meeting of the Dublin 
Corporation O'Connell proposed that distilling should at once 
be stopped, that the export of all provisions should be pro- 
hibited, that public granaries should be set up, that railways 
should be built, and that other reproductive works should be 
commenced; and that for these purposes ,£1,500,000 should 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 52-55, 59-74. 



II II \M» I III I AMIM 

be advanced by the State on loan. Th< e p having 

been adopted, a deputation waited on the Viceroy, Lord 
Heytesburj il< received them coldly, told them that 
inquiries were being made, th.it ■<» i.n tin-n was im 
cause foi alarm, that the Government were watchful, and thai 
as to the proposals made, the] could not be carried out without 
legislative sanction, Privately, however, he warned Peel that 
the situation was grave, and tii.it there was dt In delay. 1 

The next step was with Peel. Nor could it be denied 
that his responsibilities were grave. He had crushed the 
Repeal Association, and in maintaining the Union, protested 
that the British Parliament was both able and willing to 
redress every Irish wrong. And yet, though occupying a 
commanding position among public men, he had done nothing 

to make' his words good. He had resisted ever)' reform ot 
a hated and alien Church ; he had not curbed the excessive 
powers of the landlords, nor improved the condition of their 
tenants. He had done nothing to check the division and 
subdivision of small holdings. He had been told by 
Drummond that the population of Ireland was rapidly in- 
creasing without any corresponding increase in the means 
of subsistence ; that an urgent need was to change tens of 
thousands of the smaller tenants into labourers, and furnish 
them with employment in the building of railways and the 
reclamation of waste lands ; 2 and that if this were not done 
a famine would surely come. But he had not heeded 
Drummond's warnings ; he had defeated Drummond's plans ; 
he had left the people without employment, the railways un- 
built and the waste lands unreclaimed. And now Drummond's 
prophecy was being fulfilled — the famine had come, and more 
than 8,000,000 3 of Irishmen were crying vainly for food. 4 

Nor did the Premier show any anxiety to hearken to the 
appeal. In spite of the Viceroy's letters and the scientific 
experts' reports, he refused to summon Parliament, and did not 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 55-58. 2 Walpole, iv. 244-6. 

3 Exact population in 1846, 8,175,124 (Annual Register, p. 130). 

4 Drummond's Life, pp. 289-311. 
Vol. Ill 83 



l in I IMINI 

in<-t to till November. Even then he would 

distilling, nor tin* export of Irish corn, noi set up 

pub I lx- petulantly declared thai the Irish had 

empathy of England by their monster meetings 

tupport "i 0'( onnelL What he proposed was to 

luce i>> < )i ler In Council the duty on Imported com, to 

call Parliament together at once, and then to partially repeal 

the Corn Laws, 1 But to this the I abinet would not agree, and 

P !, unable to carry his point, resigned office In December, 

Lord John Russell then essayed to form a Government, but 

failed, and Peel returned to office, having parted with his ablest 
coll Lord Stanley, who, however, was succeeded at the 

Colonial Office by Mr. Gladstone, a still abler man. 

P • difficulty was the Corn Laws. In the Tory 

p irty the landlord interest had always been strong, and the 
Tory squire favoured Protection, because it kept up the price 
of corn and enabled the farmer to pay his rent. This he 
selfishly considered of much more importance than to cheapen 
the poor man's food. Peel had favoured these views, nor was 
even the Liberal party as yet prepared to adopt Free Trade. 
But the people in the towns clamoured for cheaper food-stuffs. 
Manchester spoke out emphatically, and an Anti-Corn Law 
League was formed there. Its President was Mr. Cobdcn, 
M.P., a man of the highest character, of the purest motives, of 
great intellectual capacity, wielding considerable influence in 
Parliament, but much more beyond its walls. Under the 
influence of the Free Traders' propaganda, Peel's Protectionist 
convictions were already shaken, and in 1842 he adopted a 
sliding scale, making the import duty less the higher the price 
of corn at home. His entire abandonment of Protection was 
hastened by the Irish famine, and by the fact that Lord John 
Russell declared absolutely for Free Trade in the end of 1845, 
and when Parliament opened in January Peel prepared and 
soon carried the total repeal of the Corn Laws. 2 

1 Peel's Memoirs, ii. 158. 

2 Annual Register, pp. 30-36, 98 ; Walpole's England, iv. 60-68, 1 18-22, 
143-4, 174-6, 260-71. 



PI I I. DRI\ EN FROM 0FFIC1 h>5 

The only othei measure foreshadowed In the Queei 
speech urai an Irish Coercion Bill. During the wrintei iomc 

outi.i ■< . h.ui been committed, and because of these there w 
to be coercion. The English pooi man's cry was hearkened to 
by the cheapening of his bread; the Irish poor man, 
stomach cried out for food, was to have in itead the la ih applii <l 
to his back. On the Corn Hill the Tory party divided. A 
large section, submissive to party discipline, followed PeeJ, but 
more than .1 hundred fought his Bill at every Their 

nominal leader was Lord George Bentinck, a man of respect- 
able but not brilliant capacity ; their real leader WS Be iamin 
Disraeli. Of Jewish extraction, and not owning a perch of 

land or feeling any sympathy with the country squire, he 
might best be described as a political adventurer. His con 

victions on any subject were not deep, his ambition was 
boundless, his power of invective unsurpassed ; and in Parlia- 
mentary warfare no man could lead a party better to the 
attack. Distrusted by Peel, who refused to give him office, he 
revenged himself by leading the Protectionists ; and in the Corn 
Law debates he attacked the Premier with a violence, a venom, 
and even a ferocity such as had rarely been seen within the 
walls of Parliament. He fought, however, in vain. The Whigs 
and Irish supported Peel, and the cause for which Cobden had 
laboured so long triumphed in the repeal of the Corn Laws. 
On the Coercion Bill Disraeli's turn came. Under his 
leadership the Protectionists joined the Whigs and Irish in 
opposition. Peel was defeated and at once resigned, and in 
July Lord John Russell and the Liberals came into office. 1 

By that time the threatened famine in Ireland had become 
an awful reality. In Clare many people were starving, near 
Limerick not even a rotten potato was left, in Kilkenny three- 
fourths of the inhabitants had not three days' provisions ; and 
all this as early as April. In May there was not a potato 
within twenty miles of Clonmel; provisions had reached famine 
prices ; and in Galway potatoes were selling at sixpence a stone, 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 1 16-17 ; Walpole, pp. 273-86 ; Peel's Memoirs; Annual 
Register^ pp. 142-60. 



'Illl I \\ll\l 

•n hall ofth ; •• unfit for food. By tin- month 

the 1 01 khou I b< fore that date 

from itarvation In Limerick and in 

l u y than thii followed During the spring the poor 

!><• ■! 1 1 to obtain seed potatoe They 

pin* . - 1 i -d and stinted themselves, they sold their corn 

n their bed< lothe - j and often the dr< 
which on Sunday had exdted the admiration of her friend, 

I the envy of her female rivals, was deposited at the pawn- 
shop by the rustic beauty, with quivering lips and tearful ej 
The seed obtained with such difficulty and with such sacrifice 
. duly sown, and up to the end of July all promised well. 
Hut again the blight fell, and the potato crop all over the land 
became its victim. Not half the crop, as in 1845, but the 
whole crop was thus suddenly blotted out of existence. 
Gazing at his rotting potato fields, the afflicted peasant bowed 
his head in anguish and looked to the future without hope. It 
would be a low estimate to put the loss at £20,000,000, and 
it has been put at twice that amount ~ — a calamity to which 
even the chequered history of Ireland was unable to furnish a 
parallel. 

In the early part of the year Peel carried through Parlia- 
ment several measures to meet the distress. Under these Acts 
the Grand Juries at Assizes got more ample powers to hold 
extraordinary presentment Sessions for country works ; the 
Board of Works also got more power ; there was an Act to 
facilitate the employment of the labouring poor in the distressed 
districts ; and Indian meal was imported and sold at reason- 
able rates. 3 Under these Acts £733,000 were expended by the 
1 5th of August; there was also a relief fund, and altogether a sum 
of £852,000 was spent. So far there had been a good deal of 
suffering, though the deaths were few. But Lord John Russell 
had to combat a much greater calamity, and must therefore go 
much further than Peel. At once he appointed Mr. Shiel and 
several Catholics to office ; made Lord Bessborough, an old 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 11 8-21. 2 Ibid. 153-6. 3 Ibid. 160-61. 



C( »\ I RN ii ■ \ i mi- \ ri. i<>7 

friend <>i O'Connell's, Viceroy, with Mr. Labouchere s ( biel 

■ i. 1. 1 1 \ , and O'Connell readily supported the i w i ( overn 

ment, believing it would I'.iapple mm < < fully with the faniii 

This confidence was not Quite justified. The Board oi Work • 
had been found inefficient. 1 Public works supported by public 
funds ought surely to be works of public utility i If Government 
food depots were to be established they ought to be within 
easy reach of the people, and the food ought to be cheap; 

and il was unfair to burden the rates with the Weight Ol 

nation. d calamity. Yet this is what the Premier did. By his 
Labour Kate Act the Viceroy was empowered to call together 
extraordinary presentment Sessions, which might present public 

works, and these, when passed by the Treasury, were carried 
out by the Bo. ml o( Works. Repayment was to be made by 
half-yearly instalments levied on the poor-rate. 1 '' Relief Com- 
mittees might be formed, but only to prepare lists of those to 
be employed. Government relief depots, stocked with Indian 
meal, were set up along- the western coast, but were not to 
supersede or undersell the local shopkeeper; 4 and the works 
undertaken were not to be reproductive, but only for the sake 
of employment. 

In a short time indeed the Chief Secretary and Lord- 
Lieutenant took upon themselves to allow reproductive works, 5 
but beyond this they did not go. The rates became so 
burdened that in Cork County alone presentments passed 
amounting to .£228,000 ; in Mayo, out of 56,200 families 
46,000 were on the public works. Before the end of the year 
;£ 1,000,000 had been advanced by the Treasury ; 350,000 men 
were employed and 150,000 others pleaded for work in vain, 6 
and, being hungry, were clamouring for food. 

To superintend these public works a horde of 7000 officials 
were spread over the country. Some, being insolent, refused 
work to the destitute; others, being corrupt, delayed to pay for 
it when done ; and many minimized the famine in the midst of 

1 Correspondence, ii. 376-84. 2 O'Rorke, pp. 158-9. 

3 Ibid. 167-9. 4 Ibid. 161, 227. 

5 CConnelPs Correspondence, ii. 385-7. 6 O'Rorke, pp. 203-20. 



I 111 I \ vlIM 

famishi »wdsj The rule of the Government depot! not to 

inte . ith the shopkeepers was unfortunate, for heartless corn 

merchants we\ found to tri >n tin- people's miseries, ami 

buying the i om cheap they sold it dear. Women and children, 
half-naked and perishing with cold, swarmed over the turnip 

tli • turnips raw, while the little children looked 

on screaming with hunger. 1 Starving and menacing crowds 
paraded the ts demanding work and food,' deaths from 

starvation began and continued, the clergy and dispensary 

. were worn out attending the sick and dying, coroners' 

inqu ■ • I I) ■ ame frequent with "died from starvation" as their 

verdicts; and Mitchel calculates that in [846 "not less than 
300,000 6 perished either of mere hunger or of typhus fever 
caused by hunger." 

To still further dishearten the afflicted people the popular 
leaders were at war. At the death of Davis the nominal leader 
of the Young Icelanders was Smith O'Brien, but the real leader 
had since become John Mitchel. He was a solicitor, and an 
Ulster Presbyterian, and like Wolfe Tone seems to have 
always hated England. He had considerable literary capacity, 
took Carlyle as his model and imitated him with success, and 
was as bold, as blunt, and as outspoken as his master. He 
had little sympathy with O'Connell's peaceful agitation, still 
less with, his ultra-Catholic views, and none at all with his 
constant preaching of the doctrine that in no case should there 
be spilling of blood ; and he regarded the renewed alliance of 
O'Connell and Lord John Russell with undisguised hatred and 
contempt. Absolutely fearless, he would have held the meeting 
at Clontarf in defiance of Government, would have broken 
down the bridges behind the troops as they left the city, and 
captured the city itself ; and when the people were dying of 
famine in 1846, he would have seized the people's corn, which, 
to pay the landlord's rent, was borne from the Irish shores on 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 201, 214-15. - Ibid. 225-6. 

3 Ibid. 207. 4 Ibid. 228-37. 

: ' The Government returns were 2041 registered deaths. 

6 Last Conquest, pp. 11 7- 18 



VOUNG IRELAND! RS and ii PI \i I Rfl Ql \i i i i 199 

every outward-flowing tide, By O'Connell these views wi 
abhorred. He wished to remain <>n good term vith Lord 
[ohn Russell, wished the Repeal Association to l>« in every 
thing loyal and peaceable, and In July 1846 he propo ed .1 
•■ciics of resolutions pledging the membei against physical 
force not only in the present but for the future, no mattei w\ at 
contingency might arise. He was answered In 1 speech of 
extraordinary eloquence by a young recruit to the Young 
Ireland party, Thomas Francis Meagher, and as neither • id<- 
would give way, and there was no one like Davis strong enough 
to make peace, the Young [relanders, headed by Smith O'Brien, 
left Conciliation Hall and set up the Irish Confederation. 
Henceforth, says Mitchel, the Repeal Association was of no 
use except to obtain offices for the friends of O'Connell. 1 

The year 1S46 thus closed In darkness and gloom, but in 
the new year the gloom deepened and the horrors were greater 
still. In January Parliament met, and in the same month 
some of the Irish landlords, having formed themselves into a 
Reproductive Works Committee, held a public meeting in 
Dublin and had a series of resolutions passed. They asked 
to have the Navigation and Corn Laws suspended ; condemned 
the Labour Rate Act and its wasteful expenditure in useless 
works ; demanded State loans to the landlords for reclamation ; 
demanded that railways should be built, and such reproductive 
works set on foot as drainage, building of piers and harbours, 
and, further, that emigration should be encouraged by the 
State." 2 

While not willing to give legislative sanction to all these 
resolutions, the Government recognized that the Labour Rate 
Act should be superseded. Two measures were therefore 
introduced and passed, one commonly called the Soup Kitchen 
Act, which established a Relief Committee in each district, em- 
powered to levy rates, receive subscriptions, and also receive dona- 
tions from Government. To those able to work on the farmers' 
lands, or even on their own, they were to give wages ; to those 

1 CConncirs Correspondence, ii. 377-98 ; Last Conquest, pp. 1 14-15. 

2 O'Rorke, pp. 280-92. 



1 1 1 1 I \ I i \ I 

they 'i foi this purp< 

nip t ui) ' " ch tpen f( ""l the ( lorn ind 

[ation I i pended till No\ jmber. 1 By anothei 

' outdo -I to b Iven to the de ttitute whom the 

nrorkh i aid not contain ; but an Irish member, Mr. 

!>-, had a clause added disentitling to outdoor relief 

thun- in p<».. r,M«>n of more than a rood of land. Mr. Gregory 

i alto another clause added providing assistance out of the 

rate-, for eml '.ration.-' A sum of ,£50,000 \va > advanced as a 

loan to landlords to obtain potato seed, and £"620,000 to Irish 

I'h Premier also promised measures for reclamation 

I drainage, but tin- opposition was so strong that he was 

unable to proceed. Many of the English members blamed the 
Irish landlords, and were unwilling to relieve Irish distress 
with Imperial funds. Peel, whose influence in debate was 
enormous, voiced these views, telling the Premier that he had 
better turn to other work than draining Irish bogs. 1 Peel also 
helped to defeat a measure of Lord George Bentinck whereby 
;£ 1 6,000,000 were to be advanced by the State for the 
construction of Irish railway 

The Soup Kitchen Act did not become law until the end 
of May ; but the Government, well aware that it would pass 
and that time pressed, formed Relief Committees in the end 
of February. There were then more than 700,000 men 
employed on the public works, the expenditure for the month 
of February being all but a million pounds. Gradually these 
works were to be discontinued. On the 20th of March one- 
fifth of the men were paid off, and by the end of April all 
works started under the Labour Rate Act had ceased. This 
was dismissing the men too rapidly, for the Relief Committees 
in many districts were not yet in working order, and to stop 
work and wages without having anything to give as a sub- 
stitute necessarily produced much misery. 5 But when the 

1 Annual Register, pp. 21-23. 2 HU. 47- 3 Ibid* 33-34- 

4 Ibid. 54-56 ; O'Rorke, pp. 335-63. 

5 Transactions of Friends' Relief Committee (Halliday Pamphlets, 
p. 1990). 



RBLIB1 I -i.mi i ii i I >■ 

new measures were reall) working, tin y worked well and fought 
the famine with much greatei luccess than the L.d>oui Rate 
Act. To obtain nourishing food .it .1 small cost M 1 the 

ilwl of the London Reform Club, ( .nne to Ireland and set up 

.1 model son]) kitchen. But his lystem was not .1 lucce 
The people preferred nourishing loup to wii.it w. .!. and 

watery, no matter hov great the art expended on its manu 

facture, and M. Soyer soon returned to London. 1 The Irish 

COOks, With less pretence- and probably with less art, did bet' 

and in Cork city as many as 18,000 quarts <>f soup were 
served out every week, The efforts of the State were largely 
supplemented by the exertions of private Committees and 

Associations. The Irish Central Relief Committee collected 
and expended .£70,000, the Society of Friends nearly .£200,000, 
the British Association ^6oo.OOO, and there were besides an 
Indian Relief Fund, Evangelical, Baptist, and Wcslcyan 
Committees, and several Ladies' Clothing Societies. 2 Sub- 
scriptions came from all parts of the world and from all classes 
of men — from the cities of England, from France and Italy 
and Austria and Switzerland, from the West Indian Islands, 
from Canada, from distant Madras and Calcutta, from Australia 
(more distant still). The Sultan of Turkey sent a large 
donation; 3 individual Englishmen gave as much as ^1000; 
and English railroads and shipping companies carried parcels 
of clothes free. 

But the supplies sent from America were on a scale 
unparalleled in history. Not a city from Boston to New 
Orleans but held its meeting and formed its Relief Committee. 
The generous heart of a great nation was profoundly stirred. 
Rich merchants gave princely subscriptions, professional men 
were not behindhand, all the churches aided, and poor men 
readily laid down their dollars. From Philadelphia alone eight 
vessels were sent with provisions ; the States of Alabama and 
Niagara sent large consignments of Indian corn ; railroads 
carried free of charge all packages marked Ireland ; free 

1 O'Rorke, pp. 427-31. 2 Halliday Pamphlets, p. 1990. 

z O'Rorke, p. 373. 



1 HE I wil\l 

it ; public ( ai ii. i 
t n< >thing i>»i « om what wa . desl Incd 

u r < - 1 1 eli had theii guns removed and 

! to transport food to the itarving nation acroai the 

donations, generously Rtefully m eived, 

many Uvea wei But the famine still marched In 

triumph over the land, and every da) fre h victims were 

red up to tat! fy tble demands. People died In 

and in the towns, even in Dublin and Belfast and 

rk and Limerick, as well as in the country di tiirt , ; they 

1 in the ' . they died at the public works and on the 

way to the Government depots for food; they died at the 
workhouse vainly seeking for admission; they died in 

the workhouses themselves, where fever and dysentery, following 

on famine, did what famine was unable to do. In Cork 
Workhouse 44 died in a single day ; in the South Dublin 
Union 700 were down with dysentery ; in Westport Union, of 
33 anointed in one day by the priest, only three were living 
on the following day. Weakened with hunger or sick with 
fever or dysentery, they lay down in their cabins, without a 
bed to lie on, without food or fire, often without clothes. In 
one house 1 7 persons were found lying together in fever ; a 
young man was found lying in fever by the side of his brother, 
dead for three days, and of his sister, dead for five days ; a 
mother putting her five children to bed at night found some of 
them dead with hunger in the morning ; and often, when all 
but one of a family had died, the survivor barred up the doors 
and windows of his little cabin to keep out the dogs and pigs, 
and then lay down, dying amidst the dead. Car-drivers 
passing along saw corpses on the road and often drove over 
corpses at night ; a father and son dying of hunger, the 
survivors of the family, unable to buy a candle, kept up a light 
during the night by pulling the thatch off the house and setting 
it on fire. Funerals ceased to be attended. The afflicted 
father brought the dead bodies of his children to the graveyard 

1 Halliday Pamphlets, p. 1990. 



iirili.iiMiil.il 
alone; Corpses WtXt « • 1 1 « 1 1 tied up in --haw Mid thill buiied, 

or were not buried -it .ill ,nni w rann by nt. and 

dogs; coffins became a luxury, and in Skib bcrc e n and el 

where hinged c< ffina were us< d, one body after another b ii 
brought to the grave in the same coffin. 1 Coronen were un 
equal to the task of holding ^<> many inqi and often when 

inquests were held, the jury, enraged .it what tip ht 

in a verdict of wilful murder against Lord John Russell. 

In the midst of such horrors the living began t<> envy the 

dead, \\m f/iry had eea^d to suffer while the living had their 

sufferings still to go through. Many lived on cabbage and a 

little meal, others on cabbage and seaweed ; in Mayo men 
lived on turnips, and some on ass and horse flesh, even when 
diseased ;'' others on grass and turf, and in one case a woman 
ate her dead child. 14 Men worked on the roads without shoes, 
women were almost naked, children with nothing to cover 
them but an old shirt ami ragged waistcoat ; and this while the 
blasts of winter blew. On his journey to Donegal Mr. Foster 
noted that pigs and poultry had disappeared ; the dogs had 
been killed ; the people had a sickly livid colour ; the children 
had ceased to play, and reduced to skeletons by hunger, they 
had lost the freshness of youth, and were like weazened old men. 
Some of the resident landlords were doin£ their best to relieve 
suffering, but the absentees, with a callousness which it would 
be hard to equal and impossible to surpass, remained unmoved, 
and to the relief funds not one penny did they subscribed The 
law allowed them — and shame for Parliament that it did — to 
seize for rent ; and in the midst of hunger and horror, bailiffs 
and agents supported by police laid hands on everything. 
They seized the people's sheep and cattle and oats, or their 
scanty furniture, or the potatoes grown from seed given in 
charity. They turned the people out-of-doors, levelled their 
cabins or set them on fire, and sent their starving tenants 
adrift without money or clothes, with the result that in the 

1 O'Connor's The Parnell Movement, p. 38. 
2 G : Rorke, pp. 366-419. 3 Ibid. 390. 

4 O'Connor, p. 31. 5 Halliday Pamphlets, p. 1991. 



111! i \ .IIM 

died of famine in ■ ingle 
i," laid .Mi. ruke, M the watted remains 
>ble Red Man on hi ration grounds in 

th \ i, and explored tfc i Quarter 1 <>i the 

deg aved African, but never have I jen miser) 

, "i | adation so i omplete ■ • among tin- 

in the '" ».: hole > of Kn is." ' 
While famine and fever thus held sway, and the evictor 
l L -< l and burned the humble hou es of the poor, t<> the 
tion bowed down by so many afflictions there came across 
the tad news that O'Connell was dead. Under the 

Constant Strain of his public labour his splendid constitution 

had be impaired, and probably as early as 1844 he was 

icked by softening of the brain. The failure of the Repeal 
movement, his imprisonment, the dissensions between Young 
and Old I re! , which he vainly strove to end' 2 — all these 

helped to develop the fatal disease which soon held him in its 
grasp. Hut it was the famine above all which struck him the 
most crushing blow. To sec those whom he loved so well 
and for whom he had laboured so long perishing by thousands, 
and to feel unable to save them, was more than he could bear. 3 
Out of their poverty these poor people had helped to swell his 
yearly tribute ; they had been his audiences at the monster 
meetings ; they laughed or wept with him, responsive to his 
every mood ; they cheered themselves hoarse at the very 
mention of his name ; he was their idol, their uncrowned king, 
the leader whom they would have followed to the ends of the 
earth. And now he could not save them. Their potato 
fields were a mass of putrefaction ; the air they breathed was 
laden with pestilence ; their cabins were in ruins, or if still 
standing were the abodes of hunger and disease; and day after 
day thousands of men and women were going down to their 
coffinless graves. 

Feeble and failing as he was, O'Connell laboured to stem 
the ever-rising tide. He made speeches, he wrote letters, he 

1 A Visit to Co7inaught in 184.7. 
8 (yConneWs Correspondence, ii. 393-8. :: Ibid. 392, 402-3. 



DEATH OF i I. 

propounded plans, he moved resolution . h<- hurled Peel from 
power when Peel's specific foi Iri h discontent i fettei 
rather than food; 1 and his lasl speech in Parliament 
plaintive appeal for the starving people. " Ireland i our 

hands, 14 he said , "she Is in voui power. If you don't 
her, she can't save herself; and I solemnly call upon you to 
recollect that I predict, with the erest conviction, that one- 
fourth of her population will perish unless you come to hei 
relief. w ' J 

This is the speech which Disradi describ bj having h' 
delivered in April 1846 by "a feeble old man muttering at a 
table." Bui the true date was February [847, and by that 

time indeed O'Connell was bent and bowed, hi powerful 

frame shrivelled and shrunk, and with difficulty members heard 
that voice which had so often thrilled the House of Commons. 
But he was listened to with much respect, and cheers greeted 
him from all quarters of the House. A few days later he got 
seriously ill. The doctors recommended a warmer climate. 
O'Connell himself, expecting that death w r as near, wished to 
die at Rome, and early in March set out for the Eternal 
City. 

In London and on his journey the greatest kindness and 
sympathy were shown him. Newspapers and public men who 
had so often reviled him spoke of him with respect ; the Queen 
sent to inquire for his health ; Lord Shrewsbury, whom he had 
assailed some years before, repeatedly called at his hotel ; Lord 
Decies, one of the Waterford Beresfords, sent him shamrocks 
on St. Patrick's Day ; and when he was leaving Folkestone 
for France crowds assembled to wish him Godspeed. At 
Paris he was visited by Montalembert and other prominent 
Catholics, who hailed him as the greatest of Catholic leaders ; 4 
at Lyons the sympathy for him was universal and sincere ; at 
Genoa the whole city prayed for his recovery. But it was not 
to be, and on the 15th of May, as the sinking sun was gilding 

1 O'Connell* s Correspondence, ii. 375, 385-6. 
2 Ibid. 403. 3 Life of BenUnck. 

4 Nemours Godre, Daniel O'Conne//, sa vie, son a?uvre, pp. 368-70. 



I in PAWNS 

with purple glory both land ami tea, lie breathed his last in 

that superb city which In Iti pride and beauty looks down 
upon I i the Mediterranean Hii wish m 

heart should be brought to Rome and his body to 

1 i '. mil thi done, n.m could anything ed the 

to bis remainfl on the long journey home. At 

tin- vessel carrying the bod)- passed down the 

v, the ships of .ill nations In the river lowered their As 

In mil Channel an Irish vessel was met outward bound. It 

Irish emigrants, and when it was known that 

remains were on board the homeward-bound vessel, 

Irish threw themselves on the deck, uttering heart-rending 

Through the street, of Dublin 50,000 followed the 

remains to the grave, and twice that number were spectators 

•Jong the route. 1 The g r eate s t of the land in Church and 

re present or represented, and the whole Catholic 

iple mourned him as their champion and their chief, whose 

place no living Irishman could fill.* 

Many at that time and since have adversely criticized the 
policy and sought to minimize the services of O'Connell. 
They blame him for his sharp censures of the men of '98, 
for his constant denunciation of rebellion, for his abandonment 
of the Clontarf meeting, for his alliances with the Whigs, for 
the poor legislative results which followed so many years of 
agitation and sacrifice. But they lose sight of his difficulties. 
The French Revolution and the '98 Rebellion gave him a 
horror of seeking reform through violence, and he knew that 
it was the Rebellion of '98 which had made the Union possible. 
Few will agree with him that it is never lawful to rebel ; for 
tyranny sometimes becomes unbearable, and the history of 
the world shows that it is only by the sword some of the 
greatest victories of human liberty have been won. After all, 
to hold the Clontarf meeting would probably have ended in 
massacre, and O'Connell's error was not in abandoning it, 

1 nnual Register, p. 99. 
- O'ConnelPs Correspondence, ii. 404-18 : Mitchel's Last Conquest, pp. 
135-7- 



< >< (>\\|..i.i.\s PUBLIC CONDUCT EXAMINED 207 

hut in thinking tint .1 mere display «>l l<<o< would ha 
succeeded in 1843 aa it had in li-'.-w. lip- leg! lative fruiti 
«.! tin- Win;; alliance were Indeed small. Y( t it waa one 
thing to end the tithe war, t<- reform the corporation , t<» 
emancipate the Catholics. N«>i unit Drummond'a admin 
tration be forgotten, when tin tithe proctor wa curbed, 
tin* landlord reminded <>i hia duties, and law impartially 
administered. But much more than all this was the chai 
affected in the people themselves. When O'Connell com 
menced his public life hi- found them beaten and cowed, 

without courage, without spirit, almost without hope. He 

lifted them up, gave them courage and hope and confident 
taught them to feel their strength and hid defiance to their 

landlords, who had hitherto led them to the polling 1>« oths 
like sheep. He fought their enemies at the Bar, restrained 
the violence of their tyrants on the Bench, chastised their 
traducers in the Senate, made their cause known to the 
world, and was one of the few men in the British Isles 
large enough to be seen throughout Europe. He had his 
faults, as all men have, and perhaps his countrymen liked 
him all the better for this, for his faults and failings were 
their own. In his own da)- no man could compete with him 
for popular favour, and the verdict of his own day has become 
the verdict of history. Ireland w r as grateful, and has not failed 
to give visible proof of her gratitude. The finest street in 
her metropolis bears his name ; facing O'Connell Bridge, his 
colossal statue, the product of Irish genius, looks down on 
the crowds as they pass and repass ; and as the traveller 
from the country approaches Dublin his attention is arrested 
by a graceful round tower which stands sentinel over 
O'Connell's grave. A grateful nation thus honourably 
discharges its debt in paying fitting homage to the memory 
of the greatest of her sons. 

It was in August that O'Connell was laid to rest, and 
by that time the country could rejoice amid its many sorrows 
that the harvest — both potatoes and corn — was abundant. 
But for many this availed little. Thousands being debarred 



mi i \mi\i 

; ii tl l mora than ■ rood of land, voluntarily 

lurrendei Many thou ■■ < n ruth- 

•lien landlords. Such was the effect ol 

lh.it within one year 70,000 

with thiii familii 1 1 '-'I "ut oi the land. 

tii- landlord! vrished Mrai to olidatc farms, and 

while the numbct ol holdings under thirty acres wen- tl 
diminished, tl 1 thirl e In< reased. 1 Th< 

lawless and homeless men, teeking admission to the wo\ 
hou . found them full; wandering aimlessly about, they 

Imprisoned under the Vagrancy Act;- stricken with 

they found the fever hospitals choked with patients 

to lUCh an extent that In '47 alone 156,000 patients were 

mitted to the fever hospitals. 3 Thousands of others died 

in their houses or on the roads, and not only of fever but 

also of dysentery, dropsy and small-pox ; and MitchcTs 

mate is that in 1847 half a million died of famine and 

disease. 4 

To foreign countries and the Colonies there had been 
from 1 83 1 to 1 84 1 a continuous stream of emigration, a 
yearly average of 43,000 ; the numbers increased in the 
years that followed, until, in 1846, 106,000 left Ireland for 
foreign countries, besides 278,000 landed at Liverpool. 5 But 
in 1847 all previous records were beaten. The crowds whom 
eviction and the Poor Law had made homeless, being unable 
to pay the passage across the Atlantic, crossed to England. 
All were poor, some unable to work, many already in fever ; 
and while the English workmen disliked to have the English 
labour market thus flooded by Irish exiles, the English rate- 
payers disliked having so many thrown on the rates and so 
many in hospitals and elsewhere to spread disease. The Govern- 
ment took alarm, and an Order in Council was issued imposing 
stringent quarantine regulations ; shipping companies were also 
induced to raise the rates for deck passages ; and these 

1 Last Conquest, pp. 126-21 1. -Ibid. 127-8. 

3 O'Rorke, p. 481. 4 Last Conquest, p. 143. 

5 O'Rorke, pp. 486-7. 



EMIG1 \ I loN 209 

measures all but closed ( o<.ii Britain to Li h emigrant 
Scraping togethei the little money they could gather, 01 

helped 1))' the landlords, w 1 1< » were delighted to gel rid «>i 

them, thousand-, then tinned theil fao to the settin;; sun, 

and every vessel which left Ireland foi Canada and the 

United State-, was filled with In h, fleeing from famine and 
disease. One e end >ai ked, tic-h honor w I i e in itOTC foi t lx in. 

The vessels were crowded, the ventilation defective, the food 
siant and unhealthy, the watei impure, medical attendance 
wanting; and soon, generated by unsanitary conditions of 
perhaps carried on board by some passenger, fever broke 

OUt, and the ships became SO man)' eharnel-hou ( )| 

493 who sailed on the Erin Qu$tn 1 3,6" died on the voyaf 
on the \ 246 out of 552; on the Virginia^ 267 out of 

476 ; and on another vessel not named, out of Goo only 
ioc) survived. 1 And when the survivors landed on American 
soil they landed only to die. Along the banks of the St. 
Lawrence were to be found "one unbroken chain of graves, 
where repose father and mother, sisters and brothers, in a 
commingled heap, no stone marking the spot." Farther 
south, dishonest lodging - house keepers and railroad and 
shipping agents, equally dishonest, preyed upon the freshly 
arrived — Germans on Germans, Irish on Irish — and a Com- 
mission appointed by the State of New York reported that 
they had no conception that these frauds were so great. 4 

Meanwhile, repelled from the workhouses, debarred from 
crossing to England, unable to reach America, made vagrants 
by evictions and punished as such by Act of Parliament, the 
homeless at home grew desperate, and through the autumn 
and winter outrages were common. Landlords, agents, bailiffs, 
magistrates and police fell victims to popular wrath, and 
rarely were the assailants brought to justice. 5 Parliament 
was summoned in November, but instead of the evictor's 

1 Last Conquest, p. 128. 2 O'Rorke, p. 499. 

3 Four Years of Irish History, p. 532. 

4 Halliday Pamphlets, p. 1990 ; O'Rorke, pp. 498-502. 

5 Walpole's England, iv. 325-8. 

Vol. Ill 84 



mi i wii.m 

hand b *in ; fi< foi Iri ih disaffection m 

again tried, and i I oercion Hill oon passed int<> law. 1 

Hut tion continued and ted. Mitchel openly 

, resolved t<< cross the path of tin British 

en though it should crush him to atom 

urrj with him the in'-.h Confederation, 1 1 < ded 
a it ; unable t<» pei wade the Nation, he established the 

\ltid Irishman, and in its column, m jed that the corn 

iving the - -wiit i \- to pay rents thould be forcibly detained 
I the hungry. Under the Influence <>i his teaching 

Sarsfield Clubs were formed, anus were purchased, pikes 
manufactured, men were enrolled and drilled and studied 
the tactics <»t guerilla warfare. Hefore the new year had 
advanced fat his hands were strengthened by the events 
which occurred in England and on the Continent. The 
English Chartists demanding manhood suffrage, vote by 
ballot, annual Parliaments, payment of members and other 
things, and finding that Parliament persistently refused their 
demands, now menaced Parliament with force. In France 
Louis Philippe was dethroned; the Austrians were driven 
from Italy ; there were uprisings in Rome and Vienna and 
Herlin ; and the sounds that came to Ireland across the seas 
were the exultant shouts of the masses, the lamentations of 
reactionary and discarded ministers and the crash of falling 
thrones. 4 Mitchel's adherents soon increased, the Confedera- 
tion adopted his views, and Smith O'Brien, Meagher, Dillon 
and the other leaders became as anxious as he was to try 
the fortune of war. 

The Government anticipated them, and a Treason Felony 
Act was passed, making the speaking, writing or printing 
anything revolutionary punishable by transportation ; and 
under this new Act, Mitchel, by means of a duly packed 

1 Annual Register, pp. 225-43. Peel supported the Government, and 
was disgusted that a much more drastic measure had not been introduced 
(Greville 's Memoirs, vi. 109-10). 

2 Last Conquest, p. 143. 3 Walpole, iv. 47. 
4 Grevii/e's Memoirs, vi. 159. 



ABORTIVE Ki BELLK )h 211 

jury, was convicted and sent foi fourteen y« .u 1 to S 
Diemen's Land. The Unittd Irishman was .uppressrd and 

so were its two luccetsoi , the Irish Tributu and the Irish 
it-ioti, and in Jul)- the Habeas Corpus A<t was impended* 1 
Had it not been, there would probably have been no attempt 
at Insurrection. Mitchel was the only man o( action box 
the leaders. The others were for the most p. ut poeti and 

etaayiStS, and lUCh men dream ol 1 evolutions hut do not 
make them. But when the I labels CorpUl Aet had been lis 

pended, O'Brien ami his friends, knowing that they would 

be at once east into prison, lett Dublin tO rOUSC the ma 

in Tipperary. The priests, however, had been before them, 

and pointing out the futility of undisciplined masses waging 
war against a great empire, induced many to abandon the 

idea of a rebellion. Many others were disgusted with Smith 
O'Brien. He was honourable, upright, chivalrous and brave, 
but he was also weak and irresolute, and utterly incompetent to 
be a successful leader, cither in peace or war. 3 An abortive 
attack on a police barrack at Ballingarry was his only exploit. 
The crowds then melted away from him, and he and Meagher 
and M'Manus were arrested, convicted and sentenced to death, 
the sentence in each case being commuted to transportation 
beyond the seas. Duffy was prosecuted but acquitted, Dillon 
escaped to America ; others were thrown into prison, under 
the Habeas Corpus Act, or were pardoned ; the Government 
had triumphed, and the miserable insurrection of 1848 was 
at an end. 4 

When Parliament met in 1849 seventy-one Irish Unions 
were bankrupt ; 5 and now, says Mitchel, as the Poor Law 
hitherto had failed, Ireland was to have more Poor Law. 6 At 
all events Lord John Russell had an Act passed called the 
Rate-in- Aid Act, under which, when the rate in any electoral 

1 Last Conquest, pp. 168-9, 1S5 ; O'Connor, p. 48. 

2 Ibid. 196. 3 O^ConneWs Correspondence, ii. 183-4. 

4 Last Conquest, pp. 193-207. 

5 Two Centuries of Irish Histo?y, p. 413. 

6 Last Conquest, p. 211. 



Ill Mil I \M1M 

{i , it vrai to be nipplemented i>y a Union rati , 

| when the rate 0VO1 the whole l'iii.»i» icuhcd 7s., it was to 

upplei • bj 1 rate "i lixpence in the pound ever the 

intiy. 1 An mv with Ireland be t the attempted 

the British Parliament nrai not disposed to 

be 1 the Irish memberi it could afford to di 

al Election of 1S47 the Repealei i>a<) beaten the 
You:i ; Icelanders, whom the)- denounced as atheists and 
murderen <>t 0*Connell, and the)- had refused to pledge them- 
geh i.iii^t acceptin e. John O'Connell himself was a 

place-hunter, and so were the Repealers who followed him ; 

and in 1849 the Buffering! of Ireland were greater than in any 
tfous year except 1847. Within twelve months the land- 
lords dispossessed half a million of persons, and with such 
heartlessness and cruelty that even the unimpassioned Peel 
lounced them. 2 The partial failure of the harvest of '48 
sent many to their graves ; fever and dysentery added their 
victims; and in 1849 cholera first appeared, killing 36,000, — the 
total deaths from famine and disease in that year reaching 
240,ooo. 3 During all this time the tide of emigration con- 
tinued to flow. In 1 847, 2 1 5,000 emigrated ; almost the same 
number in 1849; an d in 1 ^S l * when the famine was over, 
257,000 left Ireland. 4 In the latter year the population was 
brought down to 6,500,ooo, 5 and O'Connell's prediction that a 
fourth of the people would be lost was fulfilled. 

Not less disastrous than this terrible depletion was the 
change effected in the character of the people. Cases there 
were where the noblest charity and self-sacrifice were shown. 
Priests, who attended the sick during the day, often gave their 
evening meal to some of the famishing poor and went them- 
selves supperless to bed ; a Protestant clergyman was known to 
have taken off his shirt and put it on a naked fever patient ; 
doctors shirked no duty, and often paid the penalty of their devo- 

1 Walpole, iv. 352-4. 
2 O'Connor, The P ante 11 Movement, pp. 67-68, 73. 
1 O'Connor, pp. 42-43, 54. 4 O'Rorke, p. 496. 

6 Last Conquest, p. 218. 



i»i i< >r \i.i/ \ i k »\ Ol i in PE< 'ii i 

tion with their ii\<- . , evi n ©me landlordi lived on Indian me 
the more generously t<- relieve the poor; parent! dying with 
hunger gave the untasted food to their children, and died that 

their children might live J andman\ hated their la .t meal with 

the ii who came to then door . But there Is the di 

side to the picture also. The unburied corpses, the unattended 
funerals, the pitiful pleadings of the hungry, the torture of the 
fever-stricken ceased to arouse pity, Overpowering calamity 

had dried up the fountains of compassion, and hearts no longer 
felt which had once been generous and kind. The self respect 

engendered by Father Mathew's temperance teaching, the self 
reliance engendered by the Repeal agitation had equally 

disappeared. Outside of hell Mr. Gavan Duffy thought there 
were no sights to equal those he had seen In a Minister work- 
house. Fed like dogs, housed like cattle, the inmates were 
huddled together, naked and unashamed, screaming, cursing, 
howling with pain, whining for food, having acquired the 
instincts of the lower animal and lost the higher attributes of 
man. And on the streets and roads, women and children, 
once modest and self-respecting, cried, whined and lied with 
the shameless audacity of the professional beggar. 1 These 
were among the most direful results of the famine, and some of 
them remained long after the famine had passed away. 

1 O'Connor, pp. 83-84. 



CHAM ER IX 

O'Conru/fs Sucasipri 

THl h peasant's history has been a sad one. While the 

clan system flourished, the petty wars of contending chiefs, their 
dessnets, their jealousies, their exactions left the peasant 
without hope of peace, protection of property or incentive to 
industry ; and the Anglo-Norman lords extended to him the 
burdens, but not the blessings, both of Brehon and feudal law. 
The religious changes of the sixteenth century greatly em- 
bittered the relations between the ruling and subject classes. 
The confiscations and plantations of the seventeenth century 
accentuated and perpetuated the antagonisms which prevailed ; 
and when Protestants had been invested with lands and power, 
and Catholics had been deprived of both, the relations established 
between landlord and tenant were much more difficult for the 
peasant to endure than that which had existed between lord and 
vassal, or between clansman and chief. 

In the Irish Protestant Parliament of the eighteenth century 
the landlords' power was supreme. To the lands they held 
confiscation was their common title. 1 It was the Catholics 
around them who had been despoiled, and the main object of 
the Penal Code was to impoverish and degrade them, to leave 
them without the power to rebel, the hope of improving their 
condition, or even the spirit to complain. And to this extent 
the Penal Code succeeded. Native and English writers of the 
eighteenth century — Swift and Prior, Boulter, Berkeley, Dobbs 
and Young - — had pictured the condition of the peasants of 
their time as in the lowest scale of human misery. Newenham 

1 Lord Clare's Speech, 1 800. 
2 O'Brien's Fifty Years of Concessions to Irela7id, ii. 40-41. 

214 



THE i \\DI.< »i:i • ii' 

.mil Wakefield, who wrote In the early part of the next century, 

could only show that this < < »i i< I i t o n i w.i. not improved by thfl 

Act of Union; and De Beaumont, who itudied the I riafa question 
with the unprejudiced eyes ol a foreigner, declared in 1837 that 
the miseries endured by the Irish pea ian1 were 1 (, i e than th< 

Of the Indian in hi fori It "i Hi" t "I 'he ne-ro in his chains. 1 

The British Parliament had at no tiiw been just w-l.< 

Irish Catholic tenants were concerned. Its sympathies had 

been with tin* Irish Parliament in its enactment of the Penal Code; 
its reluctance to grant civil rights to Catholics was shown long 

after the era of penal legislation had passed away ; and its 

obstinate resistance to emancipation was specially discreditable 

in view of the promises made at the Union by I'itt and 
Castlereagh. The fact was that England had long continued to 
regard the Irish Catholics as foes — men ever ready to rise in 
rebellion at home, or assist the enemies of England abroad. 
Disdaining to conciliate them, she refused to allay their dis- 
content, and preferred to have them helpless and poor. But the 
1 rish landlords, on the contrary, she regarded with special affec- 
tion. These men of her own race and religion she had planted 
on Irish soil in the midst of a hostile population. She ruled 
Ireland through them, loaded them with power and privileges, 
gratified their every caprice, condoned their numerous misdeeds, 
protected them from the wrath of those whom they had treated 
as worse than slaves, and this with the whole force of a mighty 
empire. Every secret society which arose, from the Whiteboys 
to the Ribbonmen, owed its origin to oppressive landlordism ; 2 
almost every outrage perpetrated might be traced to the same 
cause, and this every thoughtful writer and speaker was ready 
to acknowledge. 3 

But Parliament would not interfere. At the cost of a few 
shillings the landlord could obtain an ejectment decree, whether 
the rent had been paid or not ; 4 he could raise the rent at will ; 

1 De Beaumont, L'Irlande, sociale, politique et religieuse, p. 176. 

2 O'Brien, ii. 77, 89, 93. 

3 Ibid. 96-107 ; G. C. Lewis, Local Disturbances in Ireland, pp. 32, 97. 

4 MitcheFs Last Conquest, p. 66. 



row in | cropi foi rent and sell 

ot doing so on the 

II Mild make what srbi ite rules he pleased, 

1 inl i ittlc to (he pound , and it the tenant 

-,ui I the offending landlord or bailiff, he knew what to 

from i landlord magistrate on the Bern h.' If h<- merely 

iplained be might have his rent raised; if he complained 
publicly he was regarded is a ili^ioy.d subject ; if he joined a 
lety he might be sent to prison or to the scaffold ; 
and if disturbances arose, the landlord, i rted out for repressive 
laws, and Parliament promptly responded by giving them a 
( loercion Act. 

Despairing of Parliament, O'Connell looked to Repeal as 
the great reined)-, and agitated the Land question but little. 
Kut Mr. Brownlow in 1829 brought in a Bill for the reclama- 
tion of waste lands ; Mr. Poulett Scope, an old friend to 
Ireland, introduced a Land Bill in 1834; and Mr. Sharman 
Crawford brought in Bills in 1836 and 1837, merely giving 
the tenant compensation for disturbance. Not one of these 
measures passed into law. 3 Parliament would do nothing but 
pass Coercion Acts. The landlords and tenants were left face 
to face : the former evicted ; the latter, driven to desperation, 
had recourse to secret societies and outrage ; and in the 
desultory agrarian warfare which went on, the landlord's writ 
was met by the peasant's gun. 4 

Sir Robert Peel had no affection for Ireland and little for 
reform. He was Irish Secretary in 18 14, when Judge Fletcher 
advised the Grand Jurors of Wicklow to give their tenants a 
property in their holdings, assuring them that such action on 
the part of the landlords would be more efficacious for the 
repression of outrages than the cord and the gibbet. But 

1 Bryce, pp. 263-5. 

2 O'Brien, ii. 1 1 1-12 ; Perraud's Ireland under English Rule, pp. 84-87. 
u Landlords there exercise their rights with a hand of iron, and disregard 
their duties with a forehead of brass " {Times, Feb. 25, 1847). 

3 Parnell Movement, pp. 16-17. 4 O'Brien, ii. 1 14-15. 
5 Ibid. ii. 99. 



i ill DEVON < <>M MISSION 217 

Peel shut hi . eyes and closed his ears, dined and feasted with 
Orangemen and landlords, and In 1S17 passed ■ BUI through 
Parliament cheapening and makiri easiei the proce <>i 
eviction. 1 in the years that followed, whethei In offi© 01 out 
of it, he was the steady advocate ol coercion foi Ireland. But 

in lS| > he was for the second time Prime Minister, and Wi 

face to face with a menacing agitation undei O'Conncll. It 
was useless to ignore the fact that coercion had not pacified 

Ireland, that she was still discontented, that her discontent 
found expression in outrage, and that outrages arose from 

agrarian disputes. For the purpose of ascertaining how far 

the land system was responsible for discontent and disturbance, 
and if Parliament might with public advantage interfere, Peel 
in 1843 appointed a Commission, and in 1845 ft issued its 
report. The five commissioners were all landlords — Sir R. 
Ferguson, Messrs. Redington, Wynne and Hamilton being 
Irish, and the chairman, Lord Devon, being an Englishman, 
with an Irish property ; and from a landlord commission 
O'Connell expected little. He thought it would be as reason- 
able to consult butchers about the Lenten fast as to consult 
landlords about the rights of farmers.' 2 His judgment was not 
much at fault. Under an old custom the Ulster tenants might 
sell the goodwill of their holdings, and had fixity of tenure as 
long as their rents were paid ; and an obvious recommendation 
would be to extend these proprietary rights to the tenants of 
the other provinces, especially as the arrangement in Ulster 
had worked well. But the Devon Commissioners, regarding 
the Ulster custom as an encroachment on landlord rights, did 
not wish it extended, and they refused to countenance any 
restriction of the landlord's power to capriciously raise rents 
and evict, nor had they a word of condemnation for absentees. 
But they recognized the extreme poverty of the lower classes, 
the exactions of the middlemen and the unsatisfactory nature 
of the relations between them and their tenants ; and while 
they wished congestion to be relieved by emigration, and 

1 Mitchel, History of Ireland, ii. 150; Bryce, pp. 233-5. 

2 Mitchel, ii. 199 ; O'ConnelPs Correspondence, pp. 351-2. 



lab i by reclamation <>t waste lands, they also rccorn 

• i thai tenants 1 Improvements, In pari a1 least, should be 
pr I i>y Ian 

>. eminent was not likely to embark on heroic laud 

iv the la ommendation of the Devon 

ion was embodied In ■ Bill and Introduced into the 

II I ords by Stanley, now Lord Derby, lit* had jut 

succeeded to his father's title, and wa. well known to have 
little lympathy with Irish tenants ; and his Hill was little more 

tha badow. A Commissioner of Improvements was to be 

appointed to whom the tenant was to apply when about to 
improve. If the tenant failed to notify the Commissioner, if 

having notified he failed to get his approval, or if his improve- 
ment vvas neither building nor draining nor fencing, in all 
these cases he got nothing. Yet even this miserable Bill the 
Lords would not have, and so strong was their hostility to it 
that it was withdrawn. A similar measure was introduced in 
the following year by Lord Lincoln ; but Peel's ministry was 
turned out of office on the Irish Coercion Bill, and thus 
time was not given for forcing Stanley's Bill into law. For 
the remaining years of his life Peel was out of office, and had 
therefore no further opportunity as a minister of handling the 
thorny subject of Irish land. 1 

In 1 84 1 there were 491,000 Irish families living in mud- 
hovels with only one hearth, forty-three per cent of the entire 
agricultural tenantry living in one-roomed houses. In 1847 
the number of small holdings exceeded 1,300,000, about a 
million being less than five acres in extent, and nearly 
700,000 under one acre. 2 The operation of Mr. Gregory's 
quarter-acre clause in the case of those needing outdoor relief 
soon left many of these holdings unoccupied, and thousands 
of the mud-hovels were emptied or destroyed by fever and 
hunger. But these agents of depopulation were not enough to 
satisfy the impatience of the landlords. Tenants from whom 

1 Walpole's England, iv. 255-8. 

2 O'Brien, Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland, ii. 146-7; Bryce, 
p. 207. 



I ill GREAT CL1 ai: \n< i 

the last l.ulliiii' iiii;;h( he squeezed Wttt t« »1< i at< < I, I ■< I it 
they uric mon- | »i | >lit .il >lr Oil the land than CftttlC , bill tCfMl 

who could pay no rent, who entered the workhou i ■■■ « i received 

OUtGOOT relict, and as such wire .1 burden upon the land, WCT1 

worse th.m the barren fig-tree, and deserving oi i limilai (at 
and the great clearances were continued throughout the famine, 
and long after the famine had passed away. Pity and kind- 
ness the vast majority of landlords had never shown where their 

tenantry were concerned, and they showed neither now. In the 
depths of winter as In summer, whole families- -the i< k, the 
infirm, the aged — were ruthlessly east out, and often when not 

a penny of rent was due. In one Union 6000 families W» 
evicted in a single year. On one small estate I 20 houses were 
levelled; on another, 23 in a single clay; in a fortnight 1 200 
persons were made homeless ; within a few months I OOO cabins 
were thrown down ; whole districts were cleared to make way 
for larger farms. Forbidden to use the ruined houses from 
which they had been driven, the evicted lived behind hedges and 
ditches until cold and hunger drove them to the workhouse. 
In one case five families lived in a single room only twelve feet 
square ; in a piggery five feet by four a widow and her three 
children lived for three weeks ; a woman ill of dysentery lay 
down in a cow-shed, and the inspector coming to see her 
was ankle-deep in mud. Even such lodging as this the 
landlords grudged. They ordered the evicted to be cleared 
off their properties, and prohibited the tenants still remaining 
from taking them in. Any shelter put up was pulled down, 
and in one case a temporary hut of this kind was set on fire 
by the landlord's bailiff, while the evicted tenant was at the 
relief works and his wife and children were gathering shell- 
fish on the neighbouring strand. All this happened in the 
Kilrush Union within the year ending May 1849, and is 
taken from a Government inspector's unadorned and un- 
emotional report. On a bleak hillside in Galway on New 
Year's Eve, in the midst of a violent storm, a whole family 
was thrown out. For the sake of their children who were sick 
the parents begged even one night's shelter, but they begged 



I 
m vim. thousands of other eases rivalling 

word ,'inp.itiiy In Parliament and even 

it ion ; and an Act was passed providing that forty 

oi .hi eviction ihould I"* given the relieving 

officer, that no eviction could take place between unset and 

sum nor on Good Fridaj or ( nristmas Day. Hut there 

no i i grievances, no staying of the evictor's 

hand Sharman Crawford's Land Hills of 1848 and 1850, 

; the Ulster custom to all Ireland, were rejected with 

1 the milder measures of the Irish Secretary, 

rd Lincoln, were not passed. 1 Mild as these latter were, 

they were looked at askance by Lord John Russell ; and as 

for Sharman Crawford's Bills, he declared them to be sub- 
i\c of the rights of property, measures which no 
Government with a sense of justice could pass. 3 But he 
passed B Coercion Act in 1847 and another in 1848, and 
the latter was renewed in the two following years. And the 
Act providing notice to be given of every eviction was easily 
evaded, and the great clearances went on with all their 
attendant horrors. 

The fact was that British statesmen of both parties viewed 
with complacency this thinning of the Irish peasantry, and 
thought that if in addition the bankrupt landlords were 
replaced by solvent ones, and especially by solvent English- 
men, there would be no further need for legislative interference 
in the question of Irish land. Many of the Irish landlords, 
indeed, had not the power to do good, even if they wished. 
Spendthrifts themselves, or inheriting an encumbered estate 
from spendthrift ancestors, they were hampered at every turn 
by restrictions which went back to feudal times, by entail 
and primogeniture and complication of title ; their payments 
to mortgagees or to members of their own family swallowed 
up their entire income ; and necessity itself, and often inclina- 

1 Parnell Movement, pp. 54-77; O'Brien, ii. 426. 

2 Two Centuries of Irish History, p. 427. 

3 Parnell Movement, p. 73. 



THE BNCUMB1 RED ESTATES AC1 I 

tion ii well, compelled them to deal harshly with their tenants. 
Bui it Englishmen with money took theii place, these would 
set up in Ireland the relations of inutu.il help and fbrbearanot 
which existed between English landlords and their tenants, 
and all would be well. With this hope th< I - umbered 
Estates Act passed Into law In [849. 1 It set up 1 Court 
of Commissioners authorized to deal with encumbered estates 
in Ireland, to sell them on the petition of owner or creditor, 

to apportion the price between the different claimants, to 

grant a title to the purchaser indefeasible in law. Under its 
provisions, within a few years property to the extent of 

£20,000,000 changed hands. Yet it was a failure-. On the 

one hand, injustice was done to the occupying tenants, for 
no account was taken of the improvements they mi^ht have 
effected. On the other, the owners suffered, for the amount 
of land offered for sale exceeded the demand, and many 
estates were sold for less than their value. Nor did many Eng- 
lish purchasers come. In the vast majority of cases the new 
men were Irish and of the shopkeeping class — men ambitious 
to be enrolled among the aristocracy. They bought land with 
the trader's instinct for profit ; they bought as they bought 
their tea, in the cheapest market, and as a good investment ; 
they had no care and no feeling for the tenants, whom they 
rack-rented and evicted without scruple ; and the only effect 
of the Encumbered Estates Act was to set up a new and 
meaner class of tyrants in place of those it had pulled down. 2 

When the year 1850 dawned the outlook was dark. The 
famine had not yet quite spent itself, and more than 240,000 
persons filled the workhouses. Rents were raised, even in 
Ulster, and in spite of the Ulster custom the clearances went 
on. The tide of emigration rose higher and higher. The 
population was rapidly dwindling, and all over the country 
cattle and sheep were being substituted for men. From Lord 
John Russell nothing could be got but coercion ; and nothing 

1 Annual Register, pp. 86-90. 

2 O'Brien, Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland, ii. 150-51 ; Parnell 
Movement, pp. 68-69 ; Perraud, pp. 164-8. 



iNM I ORS 

ted in Parliament by the corrupt and incapable 
Irish electon lent there. Driven to desperation, 

it , had i«-» i -in .'• to ■ • ret i m let k There ii.ul been 

.1 i ion >i then — Whiteboys, Whltefeet, Terryalts, 

Ribbonmen and others; but by this time the Ribbon 

it distanced all its rivals —like Aaron's rod it had 

i up then all. With its i<> ret meetings, 

i oaths and passwords an I il pis, it had extended over the 

land. Recruited from the peasantry, it watched the peasant's 

interests and a\ I his wrongs, and the landlord or agent 

who pulled down the peasant's cabin was laid low by the 
Ribbonman's avengin } hand. 1 These methods, however, were 
abhorrent to many of the tenants' best friends, and in 1850 a 
Tenant Defence Society was formed at Callan in Kilkenny, 
and within a few months similar societies were formed else- 
where, some of them in Ulster. Holding their meetings public 
1 keeping within the law, they relied on mutual co-operation, 
on the pressure of public opinion, on having honest repre- 
sentatives in Parliament. If only these various associations 
would combine into one national organization, if north and 
south would agree to sink their differences for the tenant's 
sake, much could be done ; and in the hope of forming such 
an organization, a circular was sent broadcast, signed by men 
of different religions, and asking the tenants' friends to meet in 
Dublin. 

This Tenant Right Conference met in the City Assembly 
Rooms, William Street, on the 6th of August, and was a 
remarkable gathering. For the moment the Boyne was 
bridged, and north and south were brought together. The 
chairman of the meeting was Dr. MacNight, the Presbyterian 
proprietor of the Banner of Ulster. Scattered around the room 
were tenants, a few liberal landlords, Presbyterian ministers 
and Catholic priests ; Mr. Godkin, the editor of the Protestant 
Derry Standard ; Mr. Maguire of the Catholic Cork Examiner ; 
Mr. Greer, an Ulster Presbyterian lawyer ; Dr. Gray of the 
Freeman, and Mr. Duffy of the Nation, both of whom had 

1 New Ireland, chap. iv. 



ri nam- RIGHT CONFEKENCI 

shared imprisonment with O'Connell; Mr. Frcdcricl Liu 
the Catholic editor of 1 1 1 « - Catholii Tablet* The la it named 
w.t i probably the ablest of them alL An English barrister and 
;i Quaker, he had become -i convert i«» Catholicism, .m<l in 
i s 40 the editor of the /'<i/>/r/ t \\u-w for the first dme established 
.is the organ of tlu- English Catholics. Hi great ability 
a writer, his immense information, his maul)- and militant 
attitude- when abuses were to be attacked or rights t<» be 
redressed, soon made his paper .1 power. I'm the vigour with 
which in* assailed England's treatment <>i" Ireland, his support 

of Repeal, his admiration for O'Connell, his fierce onslaughts 

on the Irish landlords and his outspoken sympathy with their 
rack-rented tenants made him enemies among the high-placed 
English Catholics, and in 1S50 he and the Tablet moved to 
Dublin. 1 At the head of a great Irish newspaper, he appealed 
to a larger audience and became more powerful than ever. The 
Irish landlords he considered utterly hopeless ; he would as 
soon expect to sec them reformed as to sec the devil kneeling 
at the footstool of God. 2 Nor had he any hope that anything 
would, or could, be done for the tenants with such a party as 
was then in Parliament — a party of self-seekers and place- 
hunters, incapable, dishonest and insincere. He believed, 
however, that if they were replaced by honest and independent 
men much could be done ; that any association which would 
send to Parliament even twelve members of capacity and 
practical skill would revolutionize the Imperial Parliament on 
Irish affairs. 3 These views found ready acceptance at the 
Tenant Right Conference, and besides the resolutions passed 
demanding for the tenants fixity of tenure, fair rents and free 
sale, and an equitable arrangement regarding arrears which had 
accumulated during the famine, it was also resolved that 
henceforth all Parliamentary candidates should pledge them- 
selves to be independent and oppose any and every British 
party which refused to concede the tenants' demands. 4 

During the next twelve months a vigorous propaganda was 

1 Edward Lucas's Life of Lucas, i. 370. - Ibid. 256. 

3 Ibid. 315. * Ibid. 385. 



4 

i tx>th In the Pi ui on th<- platform ; the tenant 

Right movement made and in the General 

Election oi 1852 forty membera we\ returned pledged to 
1 mant Rights and Independent Opposition. Lucas « 
Heath, Gavan Duffy for \< -w Ross, John Pran 
Mi inn- lor Dungarvan Geoi .«■ Henry Moore for Mayo -all 
men c»t the highest attainments, and all men of unblemished 
honour. The General Election over, the new Irish party met 

in Dublin, and a resolution irai carried, with only one <lis- 

itient, declaring it essentia] "that all members returned on 
Tenant Right principles should hold them perfectly 

independent, and in opposition to all Governments which do 
not make it part of their policy, and a Cabinet question, to 
give to the tenantry of Ireland a measure embodying the 
principles of Mr. Sharman Crawford's Bill." J 

In the meantime other events happened which already had 
proved hurtful, and in the end proved ruinous to the tenants' 
cause. Towards the close of 1850 the Pope changed the titles 
of the English hierarchy into archbishops and bishops of English 
places, from being archbishops and bishops in partibus in- 
fidelium. Dr. Wiseman, raised to the Cardinalate, became 
Archbishop of Westminster, and as such wrote a pastoral 
" given out of the Flaminian gate at Rome," and announcing 
that henceforth he was to rule the Catholics of Middlesex, 
Hertford, Essex and other counties named. 2 In all this there 
was no interference with the English State Church, and in 
fact Cardinal Wiseman, as Archbishop of Westminster, had no 
more extended powers over the English Catholics of the 
counties named than he had as Archbishop in partibus infidelium. 
But the English Protestant always prides himself on his 
Protestantism, and sometimes on his hatred of the Pope ; the 
loss of Newman and others in recent years had made him 
irritable ; and the sight of a Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster 
appeared to his excited vision as the destruction of the work 
done at the Reformation. The Queen was to be dethroned, 
the fires of Smithfield to be rekindled, the Scarlet Woman to 

1 New Ireland, pp. 147-52, 167. 2 Lucas, i. 417-20. 



THE BO i.i m LSI I* \i i n ii BILL 

be '.ci on high in Protestant England The Bishop oi Durham 
wrote .1 letter to the Premiei complaining oj tin <■ acts (.1 
Papal aggression, and Lord John Russell replied that it 1 
certainly Intolerable. 1 He denounced the Pope's actfoi 
insolent and insidious, inconsistent with the Queen's supremacy 
and w i 1 1 1 the rights of the English bishops, and declared that 
England would not submit her mind and con cience to b 
foreign yoke. The Durham Letter was inter p reted as a 
declaration of war against the Catholic (lunch, and a storm ol 
fierce fanaticism arose which recalled the days ol Titu 1 
and Lord George Gordon. The Protestant Bishops publicly 

expressed their indignation ; their Clergy were- not behindhand 
in vehemence and clamour; the Corporation of London and 

the Universities o\' Oxford and Cambridge presented loyal 

addresses to the throne ; the Sheriffs held County meetings, 
where language of the coarsest insult was used ; the lower 
classes burned the Lope and Cardinal Wiseman in effigy;' 2 
and when Parliament met in the following February, a Bill was 
promised to make penal the " recent assumptions of ecclesiastical 
titles conferred by a Foreign Power." 3 

Some of the finest intellects in the English Protestant 
Church were disgusted at this hysterical bigotry, believing it 
to be without reason and without justice, and utterly unworthy 
of a great nation ; and when the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill was 
introduced into Parliament, it was launched on a tempestuous 
sea. Lord Aberdeen would give no support to what was a 
penal law ; Lord Brougham presented petitions against it ; Sir 
James Graham's attitude was that of Lord Aberdeen ; Mr. 
Roundell Palmer could not see that it was called for ; Mr. 
Gladstone denounced it as opposed to the principles of religious 
liberty ; Mr. Roebuck failed to understand how, if Cardinal 
Wiseman chose to put on a big hat and red stockings, he was 
thereby making any aggression on the Queen's prerogative. 
The Irish members assailed the Bill ; the bigots wanted a 
stringent penal law ; and Lord John Russell, deserted by his 

1 Annual Register, 1851 (copy of letter). 
2 Ibid. 1850, pp. 198-201 ; Chronicle, pp. 138-52. 3 Annual Register, p. 3. 
Vol. Ill 85 



,\1 
; by h trembling for the existence of his 

ministry, which his own folly had Imperilled, consented to 

chs ind modift ..until at last the only penal provision 

prohibiting, under .1 penalty of £100, any arch- 
bishop, bishop Of dean Of the Catholic Church assuming a 
title from any place in the United Kingdom. Thus amended 
the Hill became law. 1 Hut it was nt enforced* With 

teristic boldness Dr. Mac Hale at once wrote a public 
letter signing himself, as he had hitherto, " John, Archbishop of 
l'u un," and he did so with impunity. The storm of bigotry 
had then died down in England ; Lord John shrank from 
prosecuting an archbishop, and Punch of that day described 
him as having written up " No Popery " on the walls, and then 
having run away from what he had written. 

Had Ireland followed the example of Dr. MacHale it would 
have been better. The time was past when penal laws could 
be enforced, and Ireland, which had withstood the fury of the 
Penal Code, ought to have treated the Ecclesiastical Titles Act 
with dignified contempt. A different attitude, however, was 
adopted. The whole country was agitated with groundless 
alarms and groundless fears, as if the eighteenth century could 
be brought back to life and the horrors of the penal times 
could be renewed. Meetings were held, speeches made, fiery 
resolutions passed, letters and articles in newspapers written, 
and a Catholic Defence Association was formed. 2 This new 
body was disliked by the Tenant Right League, as being 
likely to revive sectarian rancour in the popular ranks, and 
thus cause division and weakness. But by a small group of 
Irish members of Parliament it was welcomed. The hypocrite 
often hides his treachery under the cloak of religious zeal, and 
these men were now all for religion. They fought the Titles 
Bill inch by inch, exhausted all the resources of Parliament in 
obstructing it, and while they were regarded at home as the 
Irish Brigade, fighting as of old the battles of Ireland abroad, 
by Englishmen they were derisively referred to as the Pope's 

1 Annual Register, pp. 7, 43-75 ; Chronicle, pp. 457-9 (copy of the 
Act). 2 Lucas, i. 451-3. 



THE ikisii BRIGADE— BADLBIB AND I BOGH 

Brats Hand. They wret^e few in number, the < hlef of them 
being fohn Sadleir and William Keogh. 

The former was a solicitor with a capacity for finance, and 
with social and political ambitions, and disdaining the humble 
role o\~ a country attorney, lie Cnt C ftd Parliament in 1 847, 
Settled in London, became a Company promoter and director 

and a familiar figure on the Stock Exchange, and established 

a bank with many branches in his native Tipperary. Neither 
an orator nor a debater, he was credited with great financial 
ability and enormous wealth. He established a paper, the 
Tiligrapkt which was ultra-Catholic in tone; brought two 
cousins and a nephew into Parliament ; and when the General 
Klection of 1852 was over, the whole Brigade, eight in number, 
were his followers, and most of them, if not all, looked to him 
for pecuniary support. 

Intellectually Keogh was Sadlcir's superior, and was cast in 
a very different mould. A barrister without briefs, a lawyer 
ignorant of law, careless, convivial, unprincipled, impecunious 
and intemperate, he had much of the vulgar demagogue and 
much of the bravo in his composition. Fluent of speech, he 
excelled in the turmoil of a contested election. His energy of 
voice and gesture, his strength of language, his readiness of 
repartee, his coarse humour, his flattery of national and even 
local prejudices, his reckless courage captivated the mob ; the 
use of bribery, with borrowed money, did the rest ; and in 
1847, and again in 1852, he was returned for Athlone. At 
the latter date it was noticed that Keogh and his friends were 
reluctant to join the Tenant League or embarrass themselves 
by pledges about Independent Opposition. But the tenants 
were in no humour to be cajoled by fulsome adulation of 
Catholic ecclesiastics and loud protestations of attachment to 
the Catholic Church. The fact was that the Brigadiers were 
distrusted, and attacked by the national journals — the Tablet, 
the Natio?i and the Freeman's Journal ; and when one of their 
number, Dr. Power, M.P. for Cork, became Governor of St. 
Lucia, the cry was raised that all were place-hunters, and at a 
meeting in Cork, Keogh was attacked to his face. But his 



boundless, He indignantly repelled the ch 
mad linst him; declared, as lie bad at othei meetin 
aire that he cared nothing for Whigs or To ind would 
rapport neither unless they « I i * 1 justice to the tenants, He 
had supported Sharman Crawford's Bill, and promised with an 

oath that he and his friends would alu.iy ;i\< it " ;m unflinch- 

undeviating, unalterable support" All doubts disappeared 

when the whole Brigade attended the Tenant Right Conference 
at the close of the election, and when Keogh himself proposed 
the resolution pi d ring the whole party to Tenant Right and 
Independent Opposition. 1 

There were then three parties in England — the Tories, the 
WhlgS and the Peelites. The last named, having separated 
from the main body of the Tories in I 846 on the question of 
the repeal of the Corn Laws, had since maintained a separate 
existence, and were still called Peelites, though Peel himself 
had died in 1850. With such able men as Gladstone and 
Graham and Sidney Herbert, they were strong in talent though 
too weak in numbers to form a Government, and on most 
public questions they acted with the Whigs. On the Ecclesi- 
astical Tithes Bill, however, the Peelites and Whigs disagreed ; 
and Lord John Russell, weakened by that mischievous measure, 
was turned out of office in February 1852, and was replaced 
by the Tories under Derby and Disraeli. 2 The General 
Election of that year gave the latter a compact party of more 
than 300, a party stronger than either Whigs or Peelites — 
almost as strong as a combination of both — yet not strong 
enough to carry on the Government. Unable to attract Peelite 
support, the Tories looked to the Tenant Right Party, and in 
the hope of obtaining their co-operation the Irish Attorney- 
General, Mr. Napier, introduced a Land Bill. It was a distinct 
advance on the preceding Bills, for it contained provisions 
compensating the tenant for his improvements in case of 
disturbance. Because of this and because the Bill, being a 
Tory one, was sure to pass the House of Lords, Lucas and 

1 New Ireland, pp. 158-67 ; Parnell Moveineiit, pp. 92-98. 
2 Greville's Memoirs, vi. 455, 460. 



r RE ACHE RY Ol Nil URIC U>K 

Duffy favoured it. acceptance; I >ut Keogh denounced it ai 
worthless, and was able to carry i majority of the Tenant 
Rightera with him ; and on Disraeli's budget the Irish joii 

the Opposition, and the Tories were driven from office. A 

coalition Government of Whigs and Peelites was then formed 
under Lord Aberdeen) 1 and in Ireland there were high hopes 
that Independent Opposition would do great things, and that 

a bettor Bill even than Napier's would be secured. Th' 
hopes were soon blighted When the list of the minor 
appointments in the new Government was published, just as 

the New Year dawned, it was discovered that Keogh was Irish 
Solicitor-General, John Sadleir a Lord of the Treasury, Kdmond 
O'Flaherty a Commissioner of Income Tax, and Monscl, Clerk 
of the Ordnance.' 2 They had taken office without consulting 
their colleagues of the Tenant Right Party, and without 
obtaining any promise of legislation from the Government ; 
they had justified the suspicions of Lucas and Duffy, who had 
disliked them from the beginning, and the country which 
believed in them they had shamefully betrayed. 3 

Such treachery could not be permitted to pass unpunished, 
and when Sadleir presented himself for re-election at Carlow 
the Tenant Righters supported his Tory opponent, placing the 
latter at the head of the poll. 4 It was at least equally important 
to punish Keogh, but the opposition given to him was ineffective, 
and he was returned for Athlone ; and Sadleir soon found a 
seat in Sligo town, where mobs were ready to cheer him for 
money, and electors ready to sell their votes. Had the Tenant 
Righters and clergy acted together this would not be, and 
other members of Parliament would have been debarred from 
following the example set by Sadleir and Keogh. But the 
Tenant League had begun already to dissolve. The Ulster 
men as Presbyterians had a friendly feeling for the Presbyterian 
Lord John Russell, and were reluctant to embarrass him. 
Some of them also disliked Lucas, whom they regarded as a 

1 Greville, vii. 29. 2 Ibid. 27. 3 New Ireland, p. 168. 

4 Moore Hall Papers — Moore to Sadleir, Jan. 1853 — a scathing indict- 
ment of Sadleir's public conduct. 



^3° 

1 Catholic ; and nothing could be more repugnant to 
i Presbyterian with the old Puritan intolerance of Popery. 
And th'-i • others, not so disinterested, who wished to 

stand well with Keogh, the Solicitor-General, and perhaps get 
I the many offices it would he in his power to give. On 
the Catholic side, John O'Connell continued to support Lord 
John Russell, even after his Durham Letter; and however 
worthies* John O'Connell himself might be, the name of 
O'Connell was one to conjure with, and the son of the 
liberator was sure to have supporters among the electorate 
and imitators in Parliament. 1 But the most serious defection 
was that of the priests. Dispirited by the failure and death 
of O'Connell and the horrors of the famine, with the whole 
resources of Government and a powerful aristocracy against 
them, the people were powerless without their aid ; and it was 
because of that aid that the Tenant League had been established, 
and that so many Tenant Right candidates at the elections 
had headed the polls. Now the clergy were divided, and a 
large number of them had gone over to the enemy. Priests 
fought for Sadleir at Sligo, and for the Government candidate 
Fortescue in Louth ; and at Athlone the Bishop of Elphin, Dr. 
Browne, openly supported Keogh. 

Their conduct was approved by the new Archbishop of 
Dublin, Paul Cullen. Within certain limits he was an able 
man. He knew much of theology and canon law, of Scripture 
and Church history, was absolutely and unselfishly devoted to 
the interests of his Church ; a man of great piety and zeal, of 
strength of will and tenacity of purpose. But outside his 
merely professional knowledge his general reading was not 
extensive : on many subjects he was ill-informed ; his political 
views were narrow and illiberal ; he could see but one side 
of a question, and slowly assimilated new ideas. 2 Educated 
at Rome, he became Rector of the Irish College, was appointed 

1 Moore Hall Papers — Moore to the Nation, Jan. 1853, showing that 
but twenty Irish members voted against the Titles Bill. 

2 Vide The Writings of Cardinal Cullen, edited by Dr. Moran, Dublin, 
1882. 



DR. CULLEN, \ I I 1 1 B I HOP 01 DUBLIN 

Archbishop oi Armagh In I B49, and In 18521 on the death 
of Dr, Murray, became Archbishop <>i Dublin. At the mom 

(inn* he was appointed Apostolil Delegate, I p<> -ition which 

gave him a supervising authority over the whole ( atholii 

Chinch in Ireland, and made him all-pOWetful at Rome. At 

Armagh he favoured tin- Tenant League*; but at Dublin his 
policy was changed] and he soon was much more friendly with 
Sadleir and Keogh than with Duffy and Lucas. A mind never 

liberal had received a fatal bias from the scenes of violence and 
crime he saw in Rome in 1S49, when a liberal-minded Poj 
driven from the city by Garibaldi and Mazzini, at the head of 
atheists and assassins. With a horror of popular movements, 
he regarded the Young Irclandcrs as on the same level with 
the Italian Carbonari ; the Tenant League nothing more than 
the Young Ireland movement revived ; and Duffy he called the 
Irish Mazzini. He seemed to have a distrust of superior ability, 
and to have disliked Lucas because of his courage and capacity. 
Priests and bishops who were outspoken and independent he 
specially disliked. He expected that all, even the archbishops, 
should submit to his guidance ; and when a diocese became 
vacant, he wished that no one should be appointed but one 
whose views were subservient to his own. He carefully 
noted what priests attended Tenant Right meetings, and then 
promptly pointed out to their bishops what their duty was. 
Father Doyle of Ross, for instance, was changed to an obscure 
mission in 1853, 1 anc * a little later Father O'Shea and Father 
Keefe, both of Callan, were interdicted from attending public 
meetings at all. 2 But Dr. Cullen had no objection to bishops 
and priests who supported the Government candidates. He 
had no word of condemnation for Dr. Browne of Elphin for 
supporting Keogh at Athlone, nor for the priests who aided 
Sadleir in Carlow and Sligo, and none for those who stood by 
Fortescue in Louth. His system was to centralize all power 
in himself, to have bishops, priests, and laymen, even in 
politics, obedient to his will. " There was to be," said a 
nationalist journal, " no Priests in politics — except Bishops ; 
1 Duffy, Four Years of Irish History, pp. 246-9. 2 Ibid. 320-22. 



,1 « I I 

Bi hop in politic except Archbishops; n<> Archbishops 
mi polil epl the Apostolk I delegate " ' 

It widely believed 1 1 1 .». t Dt. Cullen's policy hod the 

api tii Pope, tnit the Tenant Righten did not 

ihare this !><•! The heart of Pio Mono was kind, and they 
th night that it the whole truth was placed t >«T< >r<? him, he would 
distinguish between th<- Roman leaders, Mazzini and Garibaldi, 

Irish Ones, Duffy and LllCaf, between the Carbonari 

and Tenant Righten ; he would re co g n ize that the latter had 

the Itron j faith Ot their ancestors and their warm attachment 
to the Sec of Peter, and that in defending such against the 
ind the evictor the Irish priests were treading in 
the footsteps of that divine Master who hunted the money- 
changers from the Temple and uttered so many woes against 
the Pharisees. It was therefore resolved to appeal to the 
Pope, and with the approval of the Tenant Righters, lay and 
clerical, Lucas left for Rome early in 1855. His honesty and 
sincerity, his zeal for religion, his courage, his splendid abilities 
m, irked him out as the ablest champion they could select. 
Disdaining to answer the charge of being a bad Catholic or 
associated with such, he vigorously attacked Dr. Cullcn's 
political conduct, charged him with duplicity, with a want of 
charity and candour and truth towards those whom he opposed, 
and undoubtedly he made a strong case. Both Cardinal 
Wiseman and Dr. MacHale, who were then at Rome, were 
impressed and convinced by it, and had he lived he might have 
convinced the Pope.' 2 But he complained that he received 
little support from the Irish priests. Reluctant, no doubt, to 
bring trouble on themselves or their bishops, they shrank from 
coming into conflict with Dr. Cullen, who was determined and 
tenacious, and had such influence at Rome that it seemed hope- 
less to contend with him. In addition to this Lucas got ill, and 

1 Duffy, p. 377. 

2 Moore Hall Papers — Lucas to Moore, Rome, 4th May 1855. At 
that date Lucas was hopeful of success. " I am in very good spirits and 
very good hope. I think the case stands very well if I am not unlucky 
enough to spoil it by my long statement. Long as it is, I am assured the 
Pope will himself read it and consider it before sending it to Propaganda." 



Di i i V i-i w i ■ ii i i \M» -0 H MO 'i i 

the fact that he met with itich discouragement, and was unable 
to complete his case at Rome, weighed ©heavily on his ipirit 
that he had to return to England in the month <>i Octobei 
following he died at Staines, Hi love Im Ireland v . .» 

.it asthat of Drummond, and with equal truth he might lay 
that he lost his life in her servi< « .' 

A lew months later, Mr. Duffy fl i ned his teat Ifl Pailia 

ment and sailed for Australia, With the clergy prohibited from 
supporting the popular movement, it could not endure; with 
pledge-breaking allowed to go unpunished, a Parliamentary 
party was a sham ; and already of those m em b ers who had 
been elected in 1852 to support Tenant Right and Independent 
Opposition, twenty-seven had gone over to the Government. 2 
In these circumstances, to rouse the people to renewed activity 
and recreate an efficient Parliamentary party would have 
required the genius of O'Conncll. Duffy felt unequal to the 
task, as he felt convinced that nothing could be done by 
Parliamentary action until existing conditions were changed, 
and hence he left Ireland for a distant land. There yet 
remained Mr. G. H. Moore, the member for Mayo. A country 
gentleman with cultured tastes, a landlord who sympathized 
with the tenants, a politician but not a place-hunter, he sought 
for no favour from any party, and made no promises to the 
people which he did not keep. With many years' Parlia- 
mentary experience, he had an accurate knowledge of public 
questions and of the temper of Parliament, could speak perhaps 
better than Lucas and write as eloquently as Duffy, and at the 
head of a party would have been a much more effective 
Parliamentary leader than either. But these great qualities 
were marred by serious defects, and Duffy, whose admiration 
for his abilities was unbounded, describes him as impatient of 
labour, of contradiction and of dulness. He wanted tenacity of 
purpose, the patience to wait for results that might be long in 
coming, the conviction of ultimate success which inspires even 
a beaten party with hope. His contempt for mediocrity must 
have often lost him the support of men who could do useful, 
1 Life of Lucas, ii. 143-470. 2 League of North and South, pp. 322-4. 



.,tll iUCCI 
though not brilliant ' hi art asm was often bitter and 

not email) and In debate he often Irritated rethei 

hi. opponent \' t he Mffti foi many yean a 
ire in politics, and whin Lucaa was dead and l)uffy In 

' the only man in Parliament 1<> whom 

mill with confident c appeal 
During these years the chai t Government were 

it, ami the state of English parties was inch that the 
Irish members, had they acted together, might have done 
much II wing the balance of power, they could have defeated 

\ • ■.': as they had defeated Derby, for the Coalition 

Ministry iras one of "suspended opinions and smothered 

animositte and could have been easily overthrown. 

PalmerstOfl's first Ministry, which succeeded in 1855, was soon 
weakened by the secession of its ablest members, Gladstone, 
Graham and Bright, and though strengthened by the General 
Election of 1857, it was defeated in the next year, and 
succeeded by the Derby-Disraeli Government, which, however, 
only lasted for a single year. 

Palmerston's second Ministry lasted from 1859 till his 
death in 1865 — a long time, with only a majority of twenty. 3 
His strength lay in the fact that an Irish Independent Party 
had ceased to exist, and that the Tories tolerated him. He 
was in fact more opposed to reform than most of themselves, 
and his meddlesome foreign policy, his bragging about 
England's power, and his insolent hectoring of foreign nations, 
made him generally popular with the masses at home. 

Mr. Keogh remained unaffected by these changes. He 
saw no reason to sacrifice office for principles, and Lord 
Aberdeen's Solicitor-General became Attorney -General and 
Judge under Palmerston. His confederates of the Brass Band 
were less fortunate. In 1854 Edmond O'Flaherty, Com- 
missioner of Income Tax, fled the country, leaving in circulation 
forged bills amounting to £1 5,000. Two years later John 
Sadleir committed suicide, having ruined thousands of Munster 

1 Duffy, pp. 227-8. 2 Annual Register, 1855. 

3 Ashley's Life, ii. 



IRELAND in PARLIAMENT 

farmers who had Invested their money In his bank, in the 
next year James Sadleir, having been found guilty ol fraud, 
was expelled from Parliament* 1 The other pledge breakei did 
not fare sowell as Keogh nor -is badly as Sadleir, thouj h they 
were equally corrupt, and equally the slave ol Government 
The result was that Irish grievances remained unredressed. At 

the election of I S S / Mr. MOOTC was elected fol Mayo, but v. 

unseated on petition, and two years later he was defeated at 

Kilkenny. 1 There remained about half-a-dozen who could be 
relied On, and of these only Mr. Magulre, who sat for 
Dungarvan, was a man of much capacity. So forgotten was 
Ireland in Parliament that it was rarely mentioned in the 
Queen's Speech; and Sergeant Slice's Land Hill of i S 5 5 , Mr. 
Moore's of the two following years, and Mr. Maguirc's of 18 5 S 
were all rejected. Palmcrston's Ministry in i860 passed a 
Bill giving the tenants compensation for future improvements, 
provided such were made with the express consent of the 
landlords. 3 No further concessions would be given, and Lord 
Palmerston declared in 1865, a few weeks before his death, 
that he utterly repudiated the doctrine of Tenant Right, and 
that in his view tenant right was landlord wrong. 4 

In the meantime Dr. Cullen, who had supported the Whigs 
in 1855, supported the Tories in 1859 ; but though he earned 
the goodwill of Government by doing so, and the praises of the 
Tories, he was unable to obtain concessions either from Whigs 
or Tories. In spite of Catholic objections to the composition 
of the National Board of Education and to the character of 
some of the school-books, it was not until 1853 that Whateley's 
books were disallowed, and not until i860 were the Catholic 
Commissioners made equal in number to the Protestant. And 
the Catholic demand for denominational schools, where only 
Catholic children were taught, was emphatically refused. The 
rich Protestant Church, with its enormous revenues, had its 
rich Royal Free Schools and its Erasmus Smith Schools, while 

1 Pamell Moveme?it, pp. 106-10. 
' 2 Moore Hall Papers — Speech of Mr. Moore at Kilkenny, June 1859. 
3 Annual Register, p. 202. 4 Barry O'Brien, ii. 282-90, 304-5. 



INEL1 i • i 

the Catholic Church hid to depend on Its diocesan colleges, but 
u] i Parliament grant to redress the Inequality. 
1 I re maintained and endowed, though a 

Papa] [pt In 1847 described them as "involving grave 

■ 1 the faith of Catholi* •", .1 second Rescript in 
1 . red this danger to be intrinsic ; and a third in 1850 

warned the bishops to keep Catholic itudents from their doors. 1 

tholic University, set up and maintained by the 
tholici in their poverty, was refused a charter by Lord 

Palmerston, on the ground that the institution was and would 
be controlled by Dr. Cullcn. J There was no attempt made to 
relieve the Catholics of the oppressive burden of the Established 
Church, nor was there any attempt made to equitably adjust 
the relations between landlord and tenant : the result was 
that a fierce land war raged, in which a small class seemed 
bent on the extermination of the masses. 

From 1849 to 1856 a million and a half had emigrated, 
one -fifth of whom had been actually evicted. The strong 
and healthy were thus leaving the shores of Ireland, and 
her population, which in 185 1 stood at 6,500,000, was 
reduced in 1861 to 5,760,000/* The Times wrote exultingly 
that in another generation the Irish Celts would be as obsolete 
in Ireland as the Phoenicians in Cornwall, and the Catholic 
religion as forgotten as the worship of Astarte. 4 

When an Irish property was advertised for sale in the 
Landed Estates Court, it was regularly mentioned as an 
inducement to purchasers that the tenants had no leases.' 
It was assumed that the incoming landlord would care 
nothing for the tenants, and would raise the rents or evict 
as best suited his purpose. And all over the country tenants 
were being evicted for non-payment of an impossible rent, for 
voting against his landlord, for refusing to send his children 
to the Protestant schools, for getting his daughter married 

1 Locker-Sampson, p. 353. 2 Ashley's Palmerston, ii. 266-7. 

3 Annual Register ; Chronicle, p. 52. 

4 Duffy's League of North and South, p. 271. 

5 Godkin's Land War in Irela?id, p. 326. 



i it I [ON AND < RIME 

without the previous [>< on <>i hi landlord, f< I 

a night's lodging to a itranger, for harbouring an evicted 

tenant. Tenants were tinned <»nt who owed no PI t, and 
turned out in all kinds of uc.it her, and with their whole 
families — the sick, the aged, the latheile-.s orphan, the mother 
with her new-horn babe. And those not evicted had to 
submit to Conditions which only slaves could ha\e endured; 
to the exactions Of the landlord, the insolence of the a- < nt, 
the brutality Of the bailiff, the insults of every menial whom 
the landlord or agent employed. It was not in human nature 

that these things could he patiently borne, and the harassed 

tenant, having no hope from Parliament, looked to the Ribbon 
lodges for vengeance, and he looked not In vain. 1 The 
evicting landlord or his agent, the over-officious bailiff, the 
grabber who occupied an evicted holding had one and all 
need to tremble, and often fell beneath the assassin's hand, 
and generally unpiticd by the people. In Armagh a land- 
agent was stoned to death in open day, and his murderers, 
caught red-handed, were acquitted ; in Monaghan an agent 
was beaten to death ; in Cavan, a lady ; in Westmeath a 
grabber was shot dead in the presence of three men, who 
refused to aid the murdered man as he fell mortally wounded ; 
in Clare a landlord's house was set on fire, and house 
and occupant burned to ashes. 2 A generous and kindly 
people, maddened by oppression, were being turned into 
ferocious savages. And yet Parliament would not interfere. 
But when Palmerston was dead, reaction and privilege lost 
their stoutest champion ; Russell and Gladstone were well 
known to be friends of reform, and the least observant could 
not but see that an era of change had come — that the state 
of Ireland especially demanded attention, and that some attempt 
must be made to discover a suitable remedy for its ills. 

1 Perraud, pp. 95-100, 130-33. 2 O'Brien, ii. 253-72. 



CHAPTER X 

I'emanism and Reform 

I \ the evidence given before the Devon Commission in 
[j the state of Ireland, as affected by its land laws, stands 
■npletely revealed. Many of the landlords were too poor 
to be generous or even just to their tenants. Others, 
hampered by law of entail, and having nothing more than 
B life -interest in their property, were reluctant to spend 
money on improvements. 1 A good proportion were absentees, 
caring as little for their tenants as for the inhabitants of 
Timbuctoo. The rule of the agents of these absentees was 
that of tyranny and not infrequently of corruption. They 
gave no leases, effected no improvements, seized the buildings 
made by the tenants, raised the rent on land he had improved, 
and evicted him, often from mere caprice. In spite of their 
landlord prejudices, the Devon Commissioners declared that the 
uncertainty of tenure paralyzed all exertion, and was a fatal 
bar to improvements. 2 They found that where the Ulster 
custom was allowed, and tenants could sell the goodwill of 
their farms, agrarian outrages were rare ; where it was not 
allowed, they were common ; that nearly half the holdings 
in Ireland were less than five acres in extent, and a large 
proportion of them much less ; that in Kerry 66 per cent 
of the houses were mud-cabins with but one room, in Mayo 
the percentage was 62, in Cork and Clare 56, and in the 
rich county of Down it was 25 ; that the agricultural 
labourer everywhere was badly housed, badly fed, badly 
clothed, badly paid for his labour ; his home was a mud- 

1 Devon Coimnission Report, Digest of Evidence, pp. 240-41. 

2 Ibid. 1 122. 

238 



TEN \n i • «.iii \ \ > i 
cabin, leaky and filled with imoke ; hii fbod potatoes and 

water; his bed tin- earthen floor, without a blanket to O 

him , 1h\ property s pig and ■ heap <»i manun They found 
that in every case <>f the renewal <»t i lease the rent was 
raised; that bailiffs were corrupt and often accepted bribes j 

that growing Crops were seized fof rent, .1 practice which 

they strongly condemned. 1 These evils were of long standing, 

ami COUld not be cured at once by legislation. But Parlia- 
ment could have interfered to glVC the tenant some SOTt of 
security of tenure ; it could have stopped the common practice 
of subdividing holdings ; it could have compelled the farmer 
to build better houses for his labourers ; and in a country 
where there were nearly 4,000,000 acres of improvable waste 
lands, some employment might be given to redundant labour. 
What embittered the Irish farmers and labourers was that 
Parliament did nothing but watch complacently the decima- 
tion of a whole people by famine, eviction and emigration ; 
and this while the great English newspaper, the Times, gloated 
over the Irish exodus, and gleefully announced that in a 
short time a Celt would be as rare in Ireland as a Red 
Indian on the shores of Manhattan. 

As for the landlords they were hopeless. There are few 
men who will not abuse unlimited power, and the Irish land- 
lords had never adopted any self-denying ordinance in dealing 
with the tenants. Many of these landlords had been over- 
whelmed in the famine, but their successors were not less 
ready than they to oppress and evict, and from 1850 to 1870 
was the period of the great clearances. Thousands of the 
holdings were, it is true, utterly unable to decently support 
a family, and thousands of the houses levelled were utterly 
unfit for human habitation. And if the landlord had com- 
pensated the tenant and enabled him to emigrate, not 
altogether destitute and penniless, eviction would have been 
robbed of the worst of its terrors ; and when the Irishman 
had attained to some measure of comfort in a foreign land, 

1 Devon Commission Report, pp. 125-6, 418-19, 489-90, 516, 988, 
1027, 1132, 1152. 



LND RE] ORM 

I i). n h without regret to thoee di 
-l ..iiiy in misery and ■ mud-cabin. Instead 
fir had to remember that in-, landlord had driven him 
Ithout compensation, caring nothing about what might 
• it l in- exile • heart ire, and neither time nor 

; the acquisition ealth could make him forj 

I \y A hi tion with all its hi The vrocat i 

,e — and they were many where the tenant 
it adrift after having laboured and toiled to improve his 
hold t having built and fenced and drained, after 

having won the b<>^ and mountain to fertility. When all 
this was done the landlord east him out, seizing on all the 
improvements he had made. 

The Quarterly Review (in 1854) declared that "the cabins 
of the peasantry were pulled down in such numbers as to 
e the appearance, throughout whole regions of the south, 
and still more of the west, ot a country devastated and 
olated by the pa of a hostile army." 1 In Westmeath 

Dr. Nulty saw 700 persons evicted in a single day. In one 
house were patients delirious in typhus fever, but even that 
house was pulled down ; and as the shades of night fell, the 
evicted, young and old, cowered under the hedges, drenched 
with the heavy autumnal rains. 2 In the county of Mayo a 
whole country-side was emptied of its inhabitants by Lord 
Lucan, and in the same county even a wider stretch of 
country was cleared by Lord Sligo. Mr. Pollock's clearances 
in Galway were equally thorough. In the lap of the Donegal 
Mountains, the peaceful valley of Glenveigh was (in 1861) 
cleared in a single day by Mr. Adair. Acting on mere 
suspicion, he chose to believe the inhabitants guilty of the 
slaughter of some of his sheep and the murder of his steward, 
and in spite of the remonstrances of the Protestant minister 
and of the Catholic priest, he evicted them all. Mr. Sullivan, 
who did much for the helpless people, described how a widow 
and her daughters, seeing their home levelled to the earth, 
raised such piercing cries that strong men burst into tears ; 
1 O'Brien, ii. 267. 2 New Ireland, pp. 122-3. 



D RIGH \l 

how an old man of ninety, as he walked out oi his home, 

reverently kissed the doOl DOStS and hew the dispo- « <<l 

people shivered In the drizzling rain round firei which they 
had built within sight of their levelled home.. 1 Tim were 
thousands of Irish peasants banished to foreign lands, bearii 

in their hearts the bitter memory of WTOng J Cursing the land 

lords who had di -possessed them, and the km.di li ( lovcriiinent 
by which the-e landlords Were sustained. 

Not all of the landlords, how ever, deserved thee male- 
dictions, for not all were of the type of Mr. Adair. But 

those who neither evicted nor rack-rented were comparatively 

few, and in consequence the condition of the mass of the 

tenants was pitiable. In a country where industries did not 
flourish, the competition for land was SO keen that the land- 
lord could make his own terms. Nor did he consider the 
tenant in any other light than as a rent-paying machine, to 
have his rent raised or to suffer eviction at his landlord's 
good will. If he built a new house then surely he could pay 
more rent, and his rent was raised ; if he fenced or drained 
or reclaimed, the land was thereby enriched and its letting 
value was greater ; if he or his children dressed comfortably, 
it was evident that they were comfortable and would pay 
more rent if only the screw were put on. And there were 
estate rules which could be imposed only on slaves, and which 
only those long habituated to slavery could have endured. 
The tenant was compelled to vote for his landlord's nominee 
at elections, to send his children to the Protestant school, 
to get his landlord's permission to marry or to have any 
of his children married ; and he was prohibited from building 
houses for his labourers, or giving shelter to strangers. 2 On 
one small estate in Mayo, the Ormsby estate, the old tenants 
still tell, with blazing eyes, how the landlord fined them if a 
cow or ass wandered on the road or picked a blade of the 
landlord's grass ; how they had to work even on holidays 
for the landlord at half wages ; and when the harvest came, 
how they had to cut his oats during the day, and then — 
1 New Ireland^ pp. 228 et seq. 2 O'Brien, ii. 271-4. 

Vol. Ill 86 



FENIAN IS W \M> ill ORM 

to other tunc available how they had to cut 

by tlu- light o( the harvest moon. Even the 

on in i impelled the tenants to give free 

labour, and thm were the bailiffs cropi lown and saved. 

ofl ■ fen where th<- rent tvai not raised, 
the ejectment proeeai withdrawn, or the eviction stayed, 
the honour of a blushing and beautiful girl in 
to ■ tyrant's Lust It was these things above all 

which made weal, men itftMlg and cowards brave, which 
made landlordism an unclean and an accursed thing, and 
. ved the arm of the assassin. 
In spite of Lord Palmerston's landlord sympathies, such 
v'stem could not have lasted if there had been an honest 
and energetic body of Irish members in Parliament. But 
there was no such body. After 1857 Mr. G. H. Moore 
was without a seat until 1868. The most prominent of 
the popular representatives were Mr. J. F. Maguire, Mr. 
Martin, and The O'Donoghue, and of these Mr. Maguire only 
was a man of much capacity, and even he was unable to 
carry a popular movement to success. 1 Towards the end of 
1864 Mr. Dillon, then returned from his American exile, 
started the National Association of Ireland, aided and 
encouraged by Dr. Cullen. But Mr. Moore would have no 
connexion with any movement controlled or influenced by 
Dr. Cullen. 2 Mr. Duffy, who was home on a visit from 
Australia, having been asked to join, also held aloof, and for 
the same reason as Mr. Moore ; and Mr. Dillon died in 1866 
before the Association had gone far. 3 

There were, indeed, Irish members who posed as popular 
leaders and advocated popular measures. And the aspiring 
national member during those years, as he stood upon the 
hustings and asked the people's votes, was glib of tongue and 

1 Moore Hall Papers. In 1861 Mr. Moore proposed to establish a 
new organization — that of the Irish Volunteers — but it came to nothing. 

2 Writings of Cardinal Cullen^ ii. 283-320. 

3 Duffy's My Life in Two Hemispheres, ii. 268-9 '■> New Irelatid, pp. 
307-8. 



IRISH Mi MB! r i I] PARLI wn.\ i 

prodigal ofpromisei as man could be. Il<' would vote ior an 

tension oi the franchise, for land reform, for fcfa 
incut of the State Church ; he would support do Government 
which failed to favour these measures, ton he believed in the 
policy of independent Opposition. ll<- wanted neither pU 
nor favour, and was satisfied it he could only serve Ireland 

These promises and protestation, .\ne <t oil l>\ vagUC talk 

about an oppressed people, a land oi saints and heroes, and the 
glorious green flag. Some voters estimated this eloquence and 

vehemence at its worth, and taking the candidate's bribe, gEVC 
him their vote, knowing well that neither he nor Ins opponent 
was sincere. Rut there were others who had not yet sounded 
the depths of political depravity, and believing in the candidate 
voted in his favour. To their disgust they soon found how 
much they had been deceived. When the candidate entered 
Parliament he at once forgot his promises, scoffed at In- 
dependent Opposition, attached himself to the Government, and 
not a man in the party was more obedient to the crack of the 
party whip. His reward came in due course. A tide-waiter- 
ship or a position in the Excise for his illegitimate son, a county 
court judgeship for a brother at the Bar, a stipendiary magis- 
trateship for a son who was too stupid to succeed at a pro- 
fession, a fat place at home or a colonial governorship for 
himself — this was the price given for his Parliamentary support.. 
And if some indignant supporter charged him with his pledge- 
breaking and treachery, he coolly admitted his offence, chuckled 
at having made so good a bargain with the Government, and 
even thanked God that he had a country to sell. 1 

Such men spoke with no authority in Parliament, and were 
heard with no respect. Nor could Palmerston and men like 
him be so much blamed if they had done nothing for Ireland, 
seeing that the Irish voters had sent such men to the House of 
Commons. 

It was indeed assumed by many English public men that 
Ireland was content and wanted no experiments in legislation. 
And a smooth-tongued Viceroy, Lord Carlisle, at Lord Mayor's 
1 Pcwnell Movement^ pp. 12 1-3. 



FEN I Al \ \ i l I I I I ■ ■ 

.1 after > < 11 reported, like the 

•1 on the watch-tower, thai all wmm well. ( rime had 

aninv i ItJc m ere di appeal ing, agi u ultural 

re nil edu iti preading among the 

hooli multiplied, in ten years the 
uui: ' mud-cabini had fallen from .p> 1,000 to 125,000, 

I thii n arily involved the emi ^ration of many thou an 
most vigorous and energetic of the 1 But, convinced 

that Mature intended Ireland to be "the mother of Bocks and 
1 : ! Carlisle was not alarmed at this exodus. It 
inci the rate of wages at borne, and resulted in bettering the 

lot of those who went and of those who remained ; as if indeed 
a dwindling population wen- proof of national prosperity rather 
than of national decay. 1 This shallow sophistry was considered 
good enou -h for the aldermen and cattle-breeders who listened 
to him, but it did not impose on men of intelligence and 
patriotism, and was little worthy of a statesman or of an honest 
public man. Nor was the applause with which Lord Carlisle 
was greeted able to silence the voice of disaffection, which at 
that very time turned from the platform and Parliament and 
sought an outlet through revolutionary channels. 

As far back as 1 847 a general strike against rent was 
preached in the Nation and the Irish Felon by James Fintan 
Lalor, a man of great power of expression, bold, fearless and 
clear-sighted, of striking and original views and of indomitable 
will. 2 In spite of the events of that and the following year he 
was not discouraged, and in 1849 ne organized in Munster an 
insurrection which was even a greater fiasco than Smith 
O'Brien's attempt of 1848. Next year Lalor died, and nothing 
was attempted till 1858, when some young men in Cork and 
Kerry established a revolutionary society. Ostensibly for 
literary purposes, and called the Phoenix Literary Society, it 
was really a secret and oath-bound organization, pledged to 
overthrow British rule in Ireland by force of arms, and believing 

1 Viceregal Speeches, pp. 75, 97, 102, 159, 184. 

2 Duffy, Four Years oj Irish History ; W. Dillon's Life of Mitchel, i. 
1 50-52, 168-9. 



l ill BEG INN I N< , ni i i m \m 

that the time was opportune when England vi fully occupied 
iii putting down the Indian Mutiny. It i hi ladquartei at 

Skibbereen, its branches In W< i Cork and Kerr) The chid 
of its local leaders was feremiah O'Donovan Ro.s a. Bui 
real founder was James Stephens, ^h<> had i iharc in the 
rising of [ 848, since then had lived mostly .it Paris and nixed 
much with foreign revolutionist., and in [858, having retun 
to [reland, was acting as private tutor to .1 gentleman near 
Killarney. He was a man of good education, uith a capacity 
tor organization and secret conspiracy, believing that nothing 

could be done for Ireland in Parliament, but much by a Strong 

revolutionary society watching England's difficulties and 
allying itself with her foes. The Phoenix Society, however, 

soon collapsed. The priests denounced it from the altar. 
Smith O'Brien and the Nation, then under Mr. A. M. Sullivan, 
publicly assailed it, and the Government arrested the leaders 
and had them, in 1859, tried by special commission. One 
prisoner, O'Sullivan, was convicted and sentenced to penal 
servitude ; and then O'Donovan Rossa and the others pleaded 
guilty and were liberated, and an end had come to the Phcenix 
Society. 1 

Stephens was not among those arrested, or perhaps 
suspected, and returning to Paris, began to build up a new and 
far more formidable society than the Phcenix had ever been. It 
was called the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or shortly the 
I.R.B. ; but in America, to which it soon spread, it was called 
the Fenian Society, and its members the Fenians, the name 
borne by the famous militia of olden days, which were com- 
manded by Finn MacCumhael. Organized into circles, each 
under a centre, all authority converged through higher centres 
commanding many circles, towards the head centre, Stephens, 
who was in supreme command. Thus, while the lesser officers 
knew little of the organization, and had therefore little to tell 
if they were traitors, Stephens knew everything, and held the 
threads of the whole movement in his hands. John O'Mahony 
was supreme in America ; John O'Leary, Thomas Clarke Luby 
1 New Ireland, pp. 196-204; O'Leary, i. 82-91. 



I I M \ ■. \D ! I I uKM 

I im In [rcl ind ; and there were agents also in 

1 ! Scotland O'Mahony • graduate «>i Trinity 

Col .11 much to histo ,and thoroughly 

hon icere. Luby and Kickham were, like 

i Mm :i, all well conn* ted .ukI educated, and 

all men <>f literary capacity. Aiding 

them at home O'Donovan R aiding O'Mahony in 

Ann. t ucn- Doheny, Corcoran and many others. 1 

Assuming that an 1 1 isii republic was formed with the 
olment of the first me m bers, in the Fenian oath allegiance 
BWOrn to the new republic, which necessarily meant a 
I [Hsh power. Nor was there any difficulty in 
finding thousands who were ready to take such an oath. 
Irish landlordism and English law, as administered in Ireland, 
had planted beyond the Atlantic a new Irish nation more 
fiercely opposed to England than even the old green island at 
home. 2 Amid the rush and bustle of American cities, on 
American farms and railroads, in the lonely log-cabin in 
American woods, down in the depths of American mines were 
Irish exiles who thought of England only with a curse. Their 
fathers had told them of the horrors of the famine days, and 
they themselves had seen the crowbar brigade at work, the 
house levelled in which they were born, the fire quenched round 
which they had gathered to pray at their mother's knee. They 
had known English law only by its oppressions, and Govern- 
ment only as an instrument of terror. Irish landlordism and 
English rule they had always seen linked together in injustice, 
and, as they thought of them, the light of battle was in their 
eye. Nor would they have hesitated to join with the Hottentot 
to bring England to the dust. In a country where they were 
free to speak out, they used language of violence which would 
not be tolerated at home ; and one newspaper in San Francisco 
openly advocated assassination, and even offered a reward for 
the murder of individual Irish landlords whom it named. Not 
all the American Fenians were so bloodthirsty as this, but all 

1 O'Leary, Recollections of Fenians and Fenianis?n, i. 99-105. 

2 Ibid. 120-21. 



THE FENIA1 IRELAND 

hated England and loved Ireland, and gave exprn Ion both to 
their love and hatred In swearing allegiance to the li 
republic In the American ( livil War thomandi rushed to 
armfl for one side or the other, and thousand! oi tin m fell 
gloriously on American battlefields. Others, however, pai ed 
unscathed through the fire and smoke of battle, and when the 

Civil War was over In 1865, ?.< o Irish American soldi- 

were set free to fight England. 

In Ireland meanwhile the Fenian circles in i860 and [ 86 j 
were being slowly filled. But in the latter year an ev< nl occurred 
which had a stimulating effect. Terence Bellew M'Manus, one 
of the '.}S men, had died In exile in San Francisco, and it w 

determined to bring his remains to Ireland. Across the 
American Continent was one long national demonstration, and 
in Dublin no such funeral procession had been seen since 
O'Conncll's. Tens of thousands from city and country trudged 
through the streets for hours on that bleak November day, and 
while the torches blazed amid the fast-falling shades of gathering 
night, the faces of the spectators — mostly young men — wore a 
stern resolve to follow in the footsteps of the dead. 1 Freely 
they joined the Fenian ranks, and when Stephens and Luby 
went through the country districts subsequently, crowds had 
already taken or were ready to take the Fenian oath. 2 

Towards the end of 1863 sufficient funds were available to 
start the Irish People, which was the organ of the Fenians. 
O'Leary was editor, Luby, Kickham and Stephens were among 
the contributors. Its object was to promote Fenianism ; to 
discredit Parliamentary agitation ; to wean the Ribbonmen from 
agrarian to national objects ; to attack all who opposed the 
Fenian movement, and especially the priests, as unsafe political 
guides. 3 Much hatred of England was thus stirred up, much 
opposition to Parliamentary action ; and the Ribbonmen, turning 
from agrarian quarrels and the assassination of landlords, swore 
allegiance to the Irish republic. 4 And not only did recruits 
come from the country farmers' sons, from the artisans and 

1 O'Leary, i. 155-70. 2 Ibid. 180, 188, 198-203. 

3 Ibid. i. 250-66; ii. 6-1 1, 89-1 11. 4 Ibid. ii. 86-87, 113-27, 180-85. 



FENIAN >:• ii I I 

1 journal! is oi the i (ties and tow n ., 

from man) G ■• inineni ofl from the Dublin police, 

frith in I Britain; .mil thousand! of the Irish 

l'.i It i ih Amiy also joined. 1 

Polly aware that i F mian Societ) ted In America and 

in Irelandi ti: I tment waited, and the Tsmn ineered at 

the young men who man bed and drilled at night, predicting 

tint they would U- British loldiers.' Suddenly, however, 

; by two informei i, Nagle and Town, the Irish PitpU in 

> •• [865 was l by detectives, its printing-pr< 

type and pap 1 d. O'Leary, Luby, Kickham and 

I ) 1 m Rotsa were arrested, and so were many others 

through the country towns ; and special commissions were set 
up both in Dublin and Cork for the trials. O'Donovan Rossa, 
having been already concerned with the Phoenix Society, was 
sentenced to penal servitude for life ; O'Leary, Luby and 
Kickham to twenty years; and others to shorter terms of 
imprisonment Stephens evaded arrest until November, and a 
few nights after being lodged in Richmond in prison he made 
good his escape. The fact was that some of the prison warders 
were Fenians, and it was these who opened the prison door for 
their chief.'' 

Dislocation of Fenian plans necessarily followed the arrest 
of the Fenian leaders. Stephens reached America only to find 
his followers suspicious and distrustful, and in 1866 a section 
of them, repudiating both him and O'Mahony, crossed the 
frontier into Canada, and attacked England on American soil. 
During the war promises of help had been made to them by 
the United States, angry with England for her sympathy with 
the Southern States. But these promises were easily forgotten, 
the laws of neutrality were enforced, and the thousands of 
Fenians hurrying to the frontier were turned back by American 
arms. The small Fenian force which crossed were soon over- 
powered by superior numbers, and England rejoiced that all 
danger was passed. Not yet, however, for Stephens announced 

1 O'Leary, ii. 229-40. 2 Ibid. 195-6. 

3 Ibid. 205-25; Annual Register, pp. 172-85; Chronicle , pp. 232-48. 



i 111 in .1111 « i [< )N 01 ' 

tint tin- Mow would be struck In Ireland Itself) and during the 
yen [866. But Stephens nevei came, and hi ted 

followeri deposed him and elected Colonel Kelly theii chief, 
and under his directions the Insurrection broke <>ut in Ireland 
on the 5th of March [867. Souk- collisions with police and 
soldiers took place .it Kilmallock, Tallaght and neai Cork, but 
the rising had no chance <>f success, for the Government had 
been forewarned and were amply prepared. Cory don, a Fenian 
informer who knew much, told all he knew, and in consequeii 
Chester Castle was saved from capture by the Irish in England ; 
Genera] Massy, the military commander, was arrested at 
Limerick Junction, and the officers, who had come from Ameri< a 
in the steamer Jack$uH % had no sooner landed than they w< 

made prisoners. A terrific snowstorm which began on the 5th 
of March was also helpful, and showed, not for the first time, 
that the very elements were aiding England. 1 

Within the next few months jails were filled and judges 
were busy trying prisoners and passing sentences on them. In 
some cases the conduct of the trials was much complained of, 
and special resentment was shown towards Judge Keogh, once 
a patriot and then a renegade, and now lecturing prisoners on 
the iniquity of rebellion. But to rise in rebellion is an extreme 
course where failure means ruin, and the prisoners could not so 
much complain if they were convicted, and if their sentences 
were severe. In England, however, there was one case which 
aroused bitter feelings in Ireland. Colonel Kelly and Captain 
Deasy, having escaped to England, were arrested at Manchester 
in September, but a crowd of Fenians attacked the prison van 
carrying them, and set them free. In the attack a policeman, 
Sergeant Brett, lost his life, and five men — Allen, Larken, 
O'Brien, O'Meagher Condon and Maguire — were tried on the 
capital charge, convicted and sentenced to death. Maguire, 
however, was pardoned, not having been present at all at the 
attack ; Condon was pardoned because he was an American 
citizen ; the other three were executed. Certainly they had 
attacked the prison van, and equally certain it was that they had 

1 New Ireland, pp. 274-84. 



250 I 1 \l \ 1 i 1ND 11 FORM 

>mmittcd murder. But I 1 nothing. England i 

nst the i-ciii ui , and would not Im- appeased without 

I throughout the trial the animui of witnes e ., jury and 

jud re it. \. the 1 tood In tin- dock they 

I as tl id on the n afibld a huge crowd 

i ! h 11 ution, These thingi nw 

Irish race to indignation. The Manchester martyrs 
tirolled among the heroes who had t ^ I c -< 1 for 
1 !, their cry of M God ave Ireland" from the dock v. 

taken up an 1 repeated, and the few stirring lines of T. D. 
Sullivan, ending with the refrain, have since become the National 

Antlwin. 1 

Undeterred by all that had happened, a Fenian in London 

named Barrett blew up a portion of Clerkenwell prison, killing 
persons. This was in I Jt cember, and in that month and 
in the following, Captain Mackay, with a few followers, made 
several daring and successful raids for arms in Cork. But he 
was captured, convicted and sentenced to a term of imprison- 
ment, and from that date no further efforts were made by the 
Fenians, and Fenianism ceased to agitate the public mind, 
which it had agitated so long. 2 

The average Englishman was shocked at these events. He 
had been accustomed to accept the periodical platitudes of 
Lord Carlisle as an accurate description of the state of Ireland, 
and now he found that all the time widespread disaffection had 
existed, that beneath an apparently placid surface there burned 
fierce volcanic fires. One great Englishman, however, knew 
that Ireland was not content, and could not be. This was John 
Bright, M.P. for Birmingham. A Quaker with broad human 
sympathies, an orator of unsurpassed powers either in Parlia- 
ment or on the platform, he was the champion of the weak and 
the oppressed in every land. He had studied Irish history, and 
was familiar with every detail of the infamous Penal Code as 
he was with the tyranny and greed of Irish landlords, and the 

1 New Ireland, pp. 284-92 ; Speeches from the Dock, part ii. 

2 Speeches from the Dock, part i. 223-38 ; Parnell Moveme?it, p. 136 ; 
O'Brien, Fifty Years of Concessio?is, ii. 228-31. 



i in. IRISH STATE CHURCH I 

Corruption of Irish administration; and as to the Irish Si 

Church, li<- declared th.it he almotl despaired ol Ireland, 

that she had home this Iniquity 10 long. 1 I "i IDOre than 

twenty years his eloquent \<>i<r h.ui pleaded for jn but 

corrupt Irish representatives had given him little support, and 
nothing had been done. Nor could anything he done now until 
Fenianism had been put down. The cry In England v. a for 
stem repression, and for a time the old familiai Ighl of Irish 
Government was to be seen the su pension ol the Hab 
Corpus Act, the scaffold, the dock, the prison cell, But wi 
the Fenians had been crushed, and the fierce storm of English 

passion had died down, Englishmen were ready t0 listen tO men 
like Mr. Bright, and learning what was the extent and the 
causes of Irish disaffection, they asked themselves if anything 
could be done for its appeasement." 

The Irish tenantry were specially anxious for land reform, 
the Catholic bishops for a Catholic University, but neither 
the official Whigs nor the Tories would pledge themselves 
to these concessions, and only the advanced Liberals were 
willing to follow Mr. Bright, and especially in his attack on 
the Irish Church. This question then became common ground 
for the Irish National Association and the English Liberation 
Society, and in 1865 Mr. Dillwynn, an English member, 
brought forward a motion in Parliament declaring that the 
Irish Church Establishment was unsatisfactory, and demanded 
the early attention of Government. 3 Failing to carry his 
motion, it was again brought forward in 1866 and in 1867 
by Sir John Grey, M.P. for Kilkenny, and each time was 
unsuccessful. Meantime, in 1866, the Liberal Government 
had been driven from office, and the Tories under Derby 
and Disraeli succeeded. More than twenty years before, 
Disraeli described the Irish question as " a starving popula- 
tion, an absentee aristocracy and an alien Church," 4 and 
declared it to be the business of English statesmanship to 
effect a salutary change. But he was then attacking Peel, 

1 New Ireland, pp. 305-6. 2 Brigkt's Speeches, pp. 51, 73-74. 

3 Annual Register, pp. 22-27. 4 O'Connor's Lord Beaconsjield, p. 254. 



i l -i m A\i> r.i i I )RM 

ntttedly unsatisi itate of Ireland furnished 

him with i ultab ipon for attack. In 1867 the state 

than In 1 s 4 3 ; but Mr. Disraeli 
then in office at the head ol a reactionary Tory party, 

.u* not aiixiou, !<>r reform. The time had 

when the Irish State Church must cease; 

the- handwriting was on the wall ; and Sir John Grey's 

notion in 1867 was supported by the hulk of the Liberals, 

l was defl only by 195 to 183 vote The next yv.u 

M: \1 t ihv, Ml*, for Dungarvan, brought forward a motion 
on Ui .>t Ireland, and after many days' debate the 

Liberal ! Mr. Gladstone, declared for reform. Mr. 

Maguire thru withdrew his motion, after which, on the 23rd 
ol" March, Mr. Gladstone brought forward three resolutions: 
the first declaring that the Established Church of Ireland 
should cease as an establishment ; the second that, pending 

islation, no new personal interests should be created ; the 
third praying the Queen to place her interests in Church 
temporalities at the disposal of Parliament. The Tories had 
appointed a Royal Commission, and now agreed to reform 
but not to disestablishment ; also they agreed to increase 
the Regium Donum, and to give a charter to a Catholic 
University. But Mr. Bright scoffed at these proposals as 
reminding him of the man who prescribed pills for an earth- 
quake. The further Tory proposal to postpone the question 
of Disestablishment until after a General Election was also 
scouted by the Opposition ; and Mr. Gladstone's resolutions 
were proceeded with and carried by large majorities. 1 

In spite of these adverse votes Mr. Disraeli clung to office. 
But he was compelled to dissolve, and on the question of 
Disestablishment the General Election was fought. On one 
side was the party of ascendancy appealing to British bigotry 
with a " No Popery " cry ; on the other the party of reformers 
appealing to British justice. The latter triumphed, and when 
Mr. Gladstone met the House of Commons as Prime Minister 
in February 1869, he had a majority of 120 pledged to the 

1 O'Brien, ii. 234-41. 



mi:. GLAD i< 'M 253 

overthrow of the Irish State Church. 1 II« - w$ then In hi 
tifth year, the most con picuous figure in the Britl h 
Empire. lake Burke he seemed t(» have taken all km 
ledge for his province, had read everything and remembered 
everything, Master of many languages, he was intimately 
acquainted with the whole field of hi tory,di 1 u edqu< ol 

theology and philosophy as an expert, could address an Italian 
audience with fluency in their own tongue, and in speaking 
and writing ancient Greek could have creditably filled the 

role of an Athenian student of the I Pericles. A a 

finance minister he had no equal during the century except 

Pitt and Peel. As an orator he has had few superiors 

in any age and none at all in his own. lie '-poke on every 
subject with a wealth of information, a dignity of langua 

a sincerity and earnestness of purpose, always rising with his 
subject and never falling below it. His fine presence, his 
manly bearing, his flashing eye, his voice of singular sweetness 
and power added to his many other advantages ; and on the 
platform and in Parliament, even his ablest and bitterest 
opponents could not repress their admiration nor resist his 
attacks. In his youth, as the defender of Church and State, 
he was described by Macaulay as the rising hope of those 
stern and unbending Tories. But though fond of power, he 
preferred to follow his convictions rather than his party, and 
in 1846 he supported Peel. Gradually he drifted to the 
Liberal side, and in 1865 Palmerston described him as "a 
dangerous man," ready to go much farther than the Whig 
Premier wished him to go. He had then ceased to be loyal 
to the Irish Church,' 2 and opposed Mr. Dillwynn's motion with 
reluctance. The death of Palmerston and the subsequent 
retirement of Earl Russell made him leader and left his 
hands free. To attack the Irish Church he only waited for 
" the first streaks of dawn," in a suitable opportunity and a 
ripened public opinion, and when Parliament declared in 
favour of his Resolutions in 1868, and the nation's approval 

1 Annual Register, pp. 6-7 ; Morley, Life of Gladstone, i. 885. 
2 Morley, Life of Gladstone, i. 775-6. 



I ! 

foil it the General Election, Gladstone, knowing tliat the 

I come, grappled al once with "thai great icandal 
and iniquity the li iih ( lunch." l 

hi ■> li of three bourt' duration lie introduced his Bill 

in March i The ma 4 detail, the marshalling «>i 

ful handling "i complicated and conflicting 

ts, th at debating power, the high level of 

and eloquence maintained throughout roused the 

enthusiasm of his supporters and the admiration of his 

Opponents. On the i^t of January 1S71 the Irish State 
Church was to cease its connexion with the English Church 
and with the Government of the United Kingdom. Calcu- 
lating its property as worth £15,000,000 and its annual 
revenue at £700,000, it was to get back £10,000,000, the 
surplus going to purposes of public utility in Ireland. The 
Regium Donum and the grant to Maynooth were also to cease, 
a hi mi) suin amounting to nearly £1,000,000 being given in 
exchange. Commissioners would take charge of the whole 
State Church property and carry out the provisions of the 
Act of Parliament. This was generous treatment of an 
institution which had been so disastrous a failure. Persecu- 
tion and penal laws it had freely used, the whole resources of a 
powerful empire had been placed at its disposal, and yet it had 
made no progress. In 1801 the Catholics outnumbered all 
Protestant denominations by four to one, in 1834 by five to 
one; in I 861, after the famine, the latter proportion was still 
maintained ; and taking only the Episcopalian Protestants, the 
Catholics outnumbered them by seven to one. In Munster 
the State Church counted only one in twenty, in Connaught 
one in twenty-five, in Ulster not more than one in five. A 
large number of parishes had not a single Protestant, and even 
from these an absentee minister drew a substantial salary. 
Mr. Moore, M.P. for Mayo, paid tithes in eight parishes, in 
not one of which was there a church, a glebe, or a resident 
Protestant clergyman, and in the diocese of Dublin itself 
there were nineteen parishes without a single member of the 
1 Mill, p. 109. 2 Annual Register, pp. 24-29. 



Till IRISH I mi' II BI1 I 255 

State Church ; and throughout Ireland then [99 pari hei 

without any Protestant landlord, tenant or minifter, ti 

parishes paying an ecclesiastical revnmcoi / 13,400. Nor 1 
there been any divine service In any oi thee parishes 
the Reformation. 1 And while the Catholic bishops and clei 
wtrt burdened with work and poverty, the Protestant clei 
maintained in Idleness, often ama ised considerable wealth One 
bishop left at his death /• 600,000, another ,£400,000 ; and 
the Archbishop of Tuam, in ;m almo I exclusively Catholic 

district, loft /<2 6o,000." 

That such a Church should provoke the wrath of irishmen 

was to be expected. But it provoked the wrath of English- 
men too, and it was they who described it as " unjustifiable 
and indefensible," M an anomaly and a grievance," u intolerable 
robber)- " ; and Sydney Smith wrote that " there was nothing 
like it in Europe or Asia or the discovered parts of Africa, 
or in all we have heard of Timbuctoo." :{ Nor did the greater 
part of the Tory orators make any serious effort to defend 
it in 1869, though there was talk of confiscation and plunder 
and sacrilege. Mr. Butt, M.P. for Trinity College, Dublin, 
and Mr. Hardy, M.P. for Oxford University, took higher and 
surer ground when they pointed to the Act of Union, declaring 
that the maintenance of the State Church was fundamental ; 
and in pressing their argument and others, both these gentlemen 
showed ability and zeal. But Mr. Gladstone easily over- 
whelmed them in argument and in the division lobbies, and 
the Bill passed the House of Commons in the end of May. 4 
In the Lords it passed its second reading, but was grievously 
emasculated in Committee and then returned to the House of 
Commons. 5 Mr. Gladstone, however, was in no humour for 
surrender or compromise, the Lords' amendments were rejected, 
and for a time a struggle seemed imminent between both 
Houses of Parliament. 6 

The intervention of the Queen herself with some of the 

1 Brady, The Irish State Church, pp. 159-61. 2 O'Brien, ii. 189-205. 

3 Ibid. ii. 175-6. 4 Annual Register, pp. 30-69. 

5 Ibid. 71-106. 6 Ibid. 108-14. 



i I \i \ \Nu REFORM 

bis] he tact and patience «»i Lord Granville, tin- ftrmru 

and t in- loyalty with which hii party 

him were the chi pea An 

nil c»t /, 840,000 iva the di blished 

Church, and it w.i ed thai the nirplui ihould be under 

■ I of Parliament Militant and unyielding, old Lord 

i> by and a few others pronounced the .ions in 

[tiate. Hut the wiser ooun of Lord ("aims and the 

hbtshop of Canterbury prevailed; the Lords accepted the 

amendments and ■ the Bill, which received the Royal 

\ ! OH the 20th of July, and on the Est of January 1S71 

the Irish State Church I to exist. And thus, after .1 

long and inglorious career, a mischievous and hated institution 
came crashing to the earth. Sheltering every abuse, sanction- 
ing every oppression, the tool of tyranny and the apologist 
of corruption, it fell amid the execrations of millions of 
Irishmen whom it had so long impoverished and enslaved. 1 

The next year Mr. Gladstone passed an Irish Land Act, 
which legalized the Ulster and other analogous customs, 
provided compensation for capricious evictions, and gave 
facilities in certain cases to tenants to buy out their 
holdings. Peasant proprietary had been frequently advocated 
by Mr. Stuart Mill and Mr. Bright; 1 ' and the clauses in the 
Land Act were due to the latter, and were often called after 
his name. The Act, if honestly administered, would have done 
much for Irish tenants. But the landlords, not scrupulous 
where their interests or prejudices were concerned, managed by 
various devices to defeat the provisions of Mr. Gladstone's 
Act. In spite of it tenants were rack-rented and evicted, few 
peasant proprietors were created, and the Act, a failure itself, 
was but the first in a long series of measures of land reform. 3 

1 Annual Register, pp. 11 5-19; Morley, i. 903-14. 

2 Bright' s Speeches, p. 126. 
3 O'Brien, ii. 307-12 ; Annual Register, pp. 20-49. 



CHAPTER xi 

Tki I Iodic Ruli M> I nnoit 

In May 1870, in the Bilton Hotel, Dublin, .1 number of repi 
sentative [rishmen gathered together t<> take counsel about the 

state of Ireland. The diversity of creed and class and political 
views recalled the Tenant Right Conference of 1850. There 
were Protestants and Catholics, Tories and Liberals, Orange- 
men, Fenians and Repealers. Dr. Maxwell of the Mail was a 
militant Tory ; Major Knox, the proprietor of the Irish Times y 
a Protestant Conservative ; Mr. A. M. Sullivan of the Nation, 
a Catholic Repealer ; James O'Connor, a Fenian ; John Martin, 
a Presbyterian and a Young Irclander ; Mr. Galbraith, a 
Trinity College professor ; Captain King-Harman, a Protestant 
landlord ; Archdeacon Gould, a Protestant clergyman ; Isaac 
Butt, a Protestant lawyer ; Mr. Purdon, the Protestant Lord 
Mayor of Dublin. 

Among so many Irishmen of position and education, wealth 
and talent were well represented ; but in general ability, in 
knowledge and experience of public affairs, in oratorical power, 
in the qualities essential to statesmanship, Isaac Butt towered 
high above them all. Born in Donegal in 181 5, he was called 
to the Bar in 1838, became Queen's Counsel in 1844, and so 
rapidly did he rise in the esteem of the Tory party, to which he 
belonged, that in the great debate on Repeal in the Dublin 
Corporation in 1843, ne was selected as the Tory champion to 
defend the Union against O'Connell. Nor was his speech 
unworthy ol his great antagonist. Entering Parliament in 
1852, he soon made his mark as a speaker, and long before 
1870 he was as an orator and an advocate without a rival 
at the Irish Bar. With conspicuous ability he defended 
Vol. Ill 257 87 



mi HOME imi > 1 

.an hulls i . i :il he defended the Fenians In 1865 

i in the it 1 1 probable that in 1 len< e 

tlui in 1 1 • in . thou -in 1 1 Nationalist 

Mi. nature roerous, hi I •• .1 ■ warm and hind, 

1 man) gifted and chivalrous men sacrifii ery- 

thing in .1 ii trug ;lc t"i Ireland, he gradually grew to 

. urn th || under u liii h they suffered. 

liis pamphlet on Irish Land Tenure •• hing indictment 

Irish landlordism and ■ splendidly reasoned case for reform. 

l'h- he witnessed at Irish railway stations, when 

■ parting from their broken-hearted friends, 

touched his heart, and in language of singular eloquence and 
powei he lamented the terrible exodus which inevitably would 
involve the rapid extinction of an ancient race. 

When therefore he spoke to the audience at the Bilton 
i 1 tel, it was no longer as a Tory, but as a Nationalist and 
reformer, anxious that Irish Government should be brought 
into harmony with the people's views, anxious that the Irish 
peasant, rooted in the soil by equitable laws, should cease to 
turn his face towards the setting sun. A few years before this 
his audience would not have listened. But many things had 
recently happened. Attached to Protestant ascendancy, the 
Orangemen and Protestant Conservative had seen it disappear 
with the overthrow of the State Church. The landlords bitterly 
resented the invasion of their rights and privileges by Gladstone's 
Land Act, and feared that worse might come. The Fenians, 
who expected great things from an insurrection, saw only the 
fiasco of 1867, and the enforcement of neutrality laws by the 
United States deprived them of the hope of striking at England 
on American soil. Protestant and Catholic, Liberal and Con- 
servative, Repealer and Fenian were satisfied that the Union 
had been a failure, and were therefore disposed to listen when 
Mr. Butt assailed the British Parliament. Nor was there a dis- 
sentient voice raised when he proposed "that it is the opinion 
of this meeting that the true remedy for the evils of Ireland is 
the establishment of an Irish Parliament, with full control over 
our domestic affairs." Thus was the Home Rule movement 



PR( H .11 ,'i < .1 IK >\]| II I I 259 

ushered Into existence by the founding 0! the " Home Gov* m- 
ment Association." Its policy was not repeal bul F< 
Home Rule, thus going ba< k to the id( arman ( !raw ford 

,1 to those «'i ( Vi lonnell, 1 here was to be no li 
ference with [mperial questions, with the rights ol the 4 rown, I 
position of the Colonies, the army 01 navy; The proposed [1 
Parliament was to deal only with the internal ai ind, 

leaving all other questions to the [mperial Parliament 

CO-Operation Of all Classes Of Irishmen was Invited, and public 

opinion was to be Influenced by speeches and writings on 
behalf of the new Association. 1 

In a short time the movement made progrc I, and at 
parliamentary elections in 1871, four Home Rulers headed the 
polls, Mr. Butt himself was elected for Limerick, Mr. Mitchell 
Henry for Galway, Mr. P. J. Smith for Westmeath, Mr. John 
Martin for Mcath. The following year the Home Ruler, Mr. 
Blennerhasset, captured Kerry after a fierce battle ; and 
Captain Nolan headed the poll at Galway. The latter, how- 
ever, was unseated on petition, and the seat given to his Tory 
opponent, Captain Trench ; Judge Keogh, who tried the petition, 
declaring that Nolan's clerical supporters had been guilty of 
spiritual intimidation of the worst kind. And he denounced 
not only a few of the priests but all, and in language so coarse 
and virulent that friends and foes alike were shocked at such a 
tirade coming from the seat of justice, a tirade which recalled 
the worst days of Lord Norbury. 

The following year a very representative conference 01 
Home Rulers was held in the Rotunda, which lasted for three 
days, and resulted in establishing the Home Rule League. Its 
policy was that of the Home Government Association, which then 
ceased to exist ; its immediate business to prepare the parlia- 
mentary register so as to be ready for the General Election 
which was known to be near ; and in Parliament the Home 
Rule members were to be a distinct and separate party, acting 
on the lines of independent opposition. 2 

Mr. Gladstone, though friendly to Ireland, viewed the Home 
1 A r ew Ireland, pp. 339-46. 2 Ibid. 381-3. 



1 111 HoMl I I'll \l.»\ I Ml M 

Rul with disfavour. In taking office in 1868 he 

lion to be the pacification of Ireland, 1 and for 

this purpose he determined to cut down the three-branched 

Upas fc rwo of the branches had been laid 

by hi >rous strokes In 1 and in 1870, when he 

hurch and put the Land Act on the 

B lh • remained an educational ascendancy, 

ttholics could not avail themselves of Trinity College, 

or of the Queen's Colleges, without doing violence to their 

;ious convictions. Before approaching this subject, how- 

, Mr. Gladstone passed the Ballot Act, which, by substituting 
•t for open voting, freed the Irish tenant from being 
terrorized by his landlord. This Act passed in 1872, and in 
the following year Mr. Gladstone's University Bill was intro- 
duced. It was a thorny subject to handle. Trinity College, in 
selfish isolation, would not throw open its Fellowships and 
Scholarships to Catholics, or even be associated with a Catholic 
College in the Dublin University. The Queen's University 
and its colleges were avowedly secularist, and as such effectually 
barred the Catholics out. And the Catholic University 
supported by voluntary contributions had not the income or 
equipment necessary for University work, and could get neither 
grant nor charter from Parliament. In Mr. Gladstone's Bill 
the Queen's University disappeared and the Queen's College, 
Galway, a clear distinction being made between Dublin 
University and Trinity College. The first named was to be 
the only University in Ireland, while Trinity College, the 
Queen's Colleges of Belfast and Cork, the Catholic University 
and Magee College, were all to be constituent colleges. Other 
colleges might in time be affiliated. The grant of .£12,000 a 
year hitherto given to the Galway College would be given to 
the new Dublin University, which was also to get £10,000 
from Trinity College, and £28,000 from the Church Surplus 
Fund — in all, an income of £50,000 a year. All tests were 
to be abolished in the University, and no chairs of theology, 
mental and moral philosophy or modern history were to be 

1 Morley, i. 886. 



GLADSTON1 UNIVERSH I BI1 l6l 

endowed, though mch chain might be »1 up by pch 
endowment 

'The Council of the University wai to be representative ol 
the various colleges, and to some extent in proportion to the 
number of matriculated students, and aftei ■ time the n 
Council would be replaced l>y another, appointed partly \>y I 
Crown, partly l>y the Council Itself, partly by the pro! of 

the University, and partly by the Senate. The vacancies 
would arise by a certain number of the Council retiring eve 
year by rotation, even If there were no casual vacancies by 
death or other causes. 

The Bill was to grapple with a long-standing grievance and 
satisfy the Catholics without doing injustice to other creeds. 
But it satisfied no party or creed. The Catholics complained 
that two Queen's colleges were still endowed, while their own 
Catholic University received nothing. The Protestants com- 
plained that violent hands were being laid on Trinity College. 
The secularists condemned the suppression of the Galway 
College, and predicted with alarm that the system of filling 
vacancies on the University Council would in time throw the 
whole University education of the country into the hands of 
the Catholic bishops. Finally, men asked w r hat sort of 
University that would be which gave no official recognition to 
such subjects as mental and moral philosophy and modern 
history. The result was that the Conservatives and the Irish 
Catholic Liberals coalesced, and the Bill was defeated by a 
narrow majority. 1 Mr. Gladstone at once resigned ; but Mr. 
Disraeli, not having a majority of the House, refused to form a 
Government, and Gladstone and his colleagues returned to office. 
The Liberals, however, were discredited by their defeat and lost 
heavily at by-elections during the year, and in the following 
January Parliament was dissolved. The Liberals suffered a 
severe defeat, Mr. Gladstone resigned, and Mr. Disraeli became 
Premier with a strong majority at his command. 

1 Annual Register, pp. 1 1-32, the numbers being 284 against 287 ; Dr. 
Walsh's The Irish University Question, pp. 41-42 ; Writings of Cardinal 
Cut ten, iii. 501. 



THE HO i-i UO\ -i 

In Ireland, as indeed in l ind, the dissolution had come 

1 he 1 [ome Rule I c had n<>t had time to 

• •:!, and was th< i ;i<»t prepared with 

hi. l Mr. Butt, and not for tin- first time, 

u : u . diffi< u tic that he had to fly to E ngland 

imprisonment for debt In these circumstance! the 

tie wa it .it the poll , and > | owerfully did the 

demand I lush r nt appeal to the masses, thai 

• ib vcre returned pledged to Home Rule. Some 

ind but nominal Home Rulers: these were lawyers 

who • In Parliament as a tepping-stone to the 

, landlords with social ambitions, Whigs who in their 

ded Mr. Gladstone as too advanced a reformer, 
Tori's who would vote lor a Home Rule motion in Parliament 
for one day in the year, and for the rest of the year might be 

d on by the Tory whips. There were, indeed, a few 
sound and honest Home Rulers, such as Mr. Sullivan, Mr. 
Ronayne, Mr. John Martin, Mr. Biggar, Mr. O'Connor Power 
and a few others. But the majority were dishonest and 
insincere, and quite as willing to sell Ireland as were Sadleir 
and Keogh in earlier days. 

It would be difficult for any leader to make such a party 
an effective force in Parliament, and Mr. Butt was certainly 
unequal to the task. He was a great orator and debater, little 
inferior to Mr. Gladstone himself. But he was then old, too 
old for vigorous action, and his habits, always desultory and 
irregular, ill fitted him to reconcile jarring elements or vigorously 
enforce discipline. His pecuniary embarrassments made it 
necessary for him to devote a good part of his time to the 
practice of his profession, and he had not the leisure, and 
perhaps not the inclination, to create and maintain a strong 
popular agitation outside Parliament which would supply a 
useful stimulus to parliamentary action. With profound 
admiration for the British Constitution, and profound veneration 
for the great traditions of the British Parliament, he had a 
strong faith in British justice, and believed that by reason and 
argument the justice of Ireland's claims would ultimately 



mi: l:l II I \l I ', 

obtain recognition. Vet he made no head Both Briti h 

parties agreed in declaring tlni Home Rule wai beyond I 
range <>i practical politic , and both joined In iroti cry 

Home Rule motion down. In iK;\j a Home Rule amendment 
to the Address was defeated by 188 votes, anotht r in by 

S votes, and .1 further one in 1S77 met .1 .1111il.tr I. tie. And 
even minor quest ions, SUCh as the extension of tin- franchise I 1 
the amendment of the Land A< t oi I N70, fared no better. 
The Municipal Franchise Bill of l S74 was thrown out by I I 1 
(A' a majority; that of the following year by [00 vol< 

Irish Municipal Corporations Bill of 1S75, the Irish Fisheri 
Bill, the Irish Borough Franchise Hill of [876, the Land Hill 
of 1 8/5> a motion for inquiry into the working of the Land 

Act, the Irish Land Hill of 1 877, were one and all rejected by 
crushing majorities. 1 

Year after year not a mention of Ireland was found in the 
Queen's Speeches, or if any such was found it was to announce 
the introduction of a Coercion Bill, or to continue a Coercion 
Act already on the Statute Hook. And in passing these 
measures the Liberals were as prompt to give their votes as the 
Conservatives. The latter were especially strong after the 
election of 1874, and their position was still further strengthened 
by the fact that Mr. Gladstone, early in 1875, definitely retired 
from the leadership of the Liberal party. His successor was 
the Marquis of Hartington, a member of the great house of 
Cavendish and heir to the Duke of Devonshire, a Liberal by 
tradition, a Conservative by conviction, an enemy to all reform, 
and especially to Irish reform. As Chief Secretary for Ireland 
in 1 87 1, he had an attack made by the police on a peaceful 
amnesty meeting in the Phcenix Park. He was ever ready to 
resist even the smallest concession to Ireland, and ever ready 
to advocate every measure of coercion ; and the Annual 
Register 1 notes that when the Coercion Bill of 1875 was 
before the House of Commons, Lord Hartington was " more 
ministerial than the Ministerialists," that is, more coercionist 
than the coercionists. English members, indeed, barely 
1 New Ireland, pp. 396-8. 2 Animal Register, p. 17. 



rm in < i.i ll< >\ i mi N i 

Mi Butt and hii Mends when they demanded reform, 
and could only lay that after all "a lai 

all must DC mad the vivid fancy of Irishmen." l 

The Irish Land question they thought tttled and done 

with, and .my attempt tO revive it \\ a . a wicked .Hid wanton 

attempt to reopen ■ lore which had already healed. Thus, 

unable to iplish anything for Ireland, and In i quence 

1 dispirited, Mr Butt plodded wearily on. Every 

i had its own crop of motions rejected, of Hills thrown 

out, of eloquent speeches addressed to ears that would not 
hear. Like the fabled island in the Western Ocean, Home 
Rule receded still farther as time advanced. The Fenians, 
with little faith in parliamentary action, were losing the little 
faith they had, and every day an increasing number of Irish- 
men were becoming more convinced than ever that the Home 
Rule party were powerless for good, and were but laboriously 
and painfully ploughing the sands. 

As early as 1874, at a private meeting of the Irish Party, 
Mr. Ronayne, M.P. for Cork, proposed that the Irish members 
should interfere more in English and Imperial questions, 
especially those questions which specially affected the working 
classes. English sympathy for Ireland would thus be evoked, 
reactionary legislation would be thw r arted, and English 
members who had so often obstructed and defeated Irish 
measures of reform would have the weapon of obstruction 
turned against themselves. Mr. Ronayne, however, found 
little support in the party, and none at all from Mr. Butt, and 
he died in 1876 without any serious attempt having been 
made to give practical effect to his views. And meantime the 
old futile way was continued, and while the Irish members held 
aloof from English and Imperial measures, the English members 
rejected every Irish measure except Coercion Acts with scorn. 

But there were two Irish members who believed Mr. 

Ronayne's suggestions to be good. These were Joseph Gillis 

Biggar, who represented Cavan, and Mr. Charles Stewart 

Parnell, M.P. for Meath. Mr. Biggar was a native of Belfast 

1 New Ireland, p. 398. 2 Ibid. 438. 



Ml:. BIGG M' 

and had come of ■ Presbyterian .iml.. lie was a wealthy 
man, having made his money In trade, and when he entered 
Parliament In [874 was in -. years ol age, At school 01 
college he had learned little, and Indeed cared little for booh 
for those who read or wrote them. But he had a talent for 
figures, and wras a shrewd man of bu tine i, pnu ti< al, matter-oi 
tact and unimaginative. He had become ■ Catholic and a 
Fenian, and was In fact one of the Supreme Council oi 
the l.K.l). when he entered Parliament Of public affairs he 
had no experience, except as a member of the Belfast Wat 

Board. He had no taste and no respect for oratory, was quite 
unable to make a speech, and with his rasping voice and 
uncouth appearance was ill fitted to make his mark in Parlia- 
ment For that assembly he had no respect, and none for the 
good opinion of the English people, whom he hated and 
despised. He was intensely and fiercely Irish, and wanted 
work done for Ireland, and as the English Parliament would 
have no such work done his ambition was to bring English 
legislation also to a standstill. He had no hope that Butt 
would get anything by conciliating the English people, think- 
ing it better to make them uncomfortable and enrage them. 1 
In 1875 ne proceeded to give these ideas tangible shape. A 
Coercion Bill was before the House of Commons, and Biggar 
determined that if he could not defeat it, at least he would 
delay its passage. For four continuous hours he talked against 
the Bill. What he said was not a reasoned speech, nor an 
argumentative presentation of facts, nor a calm appeal to 
justice or fair-play, nor an impassioned plea for a nation that 
had suffered so many wrongs. It was a mixture of newspaper 
reports, of resolutions of public bodies, of evidence given before 
a Parliamentary Committee regarding outrages in Westmeath, 
and of occasional comments of his own, which were neither 
striking nor new. Called to order by the Speaker, who could 
not hear him, Mr. Biggar calmly shifted his place from below 
the gangway to the Treasury Bench, and repeated all that he 
had previously said. Time was thus wasted, a Coercion Bill 
1 O'Brien's Life of ParncU, i. 81. 



rHE how n 

! ' . English pei >ple 

!. And these ta< I 

he i In the i "i 18751 ,l,1( ' ' l ''. al " m 

a ' 

Mr Pamell i i much ablei and a much more remark- 
able man than Mi Bi ;ar. I lis family came originally from 
i in Cheshire, wha Thomai Parnell, a draper, 

fO\ in the i Ign ol Jamei I. The mayor's ion was a 
rainent Cromwellian, and his grandson in the reign of 
ales II. leavin [land altogether, settled in Ireland, 

wh purchased an estate. One ot kis sons, Thomas, was 

the well-known poet, another son was ;t judge, and the son of 
tlso a jud : •, and the first baronet of the name. 
1*1 i e second baronet was the famous Sir John Pamell, 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, the friend of Grattan, the uncom- 
promising opponent of the Union. After the Union his eldest 
son sat in the United Parliament, was a member of Lord 
Grey's Ministry, and became ennobled with the title of Lord 
Congleton. The peer's younger brother was William, who 
lived at Avondale in Wicklow, and who wrote An Historical 
Apology for the Irish Catholics. The grandson of this 
William was Mr. Biggar's friend, Charles Stewart Parnell. He 
was born at Avondale in 1846. His mother was a daughter 
of Commodore Stewart of the American Navy, who had fought 
the English and beat them in the war of 18 12 and 1 8 14; and 
the daughter hated England and the English people for their 
" arrogance, greed, cant and hypocrisy." " They are simply 
thieves," she said — language which is certainly strong, what- 
ever may be thought of its justice. 2 

Mr. Parnell fully shared his mother's antipathy to England. 
And yet in manner and temperament he was much more 
English than Irish. Cold, unemotional, imperturbable, he had 
none of the wit or fire or enthusiasm of the Irish Celt ; he was 
not eloquent and hated oratory, nor had he any ambition in 
public speaking but to say what he had to say in the fewest 
possible words. A Protestant in religion and educated at 
1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 81-85. 2 ^id. 1-29. 



MR, I . g, PARNBLL 

Protestant '.cht»<>is in England, he subsequently entered Can 
bridge University, though he did not graduate, and netthei in 
tin- preliminary schools nor at the University had he 
.mv evidence of superior talent He had little t.i tte foi read! 
and derived little knowledge from books. II 

not in his intellect, but in hi. uiil, and e\en in hi .<• 1 

years he showed himself masterful, domineer! 'i<, 

impatient of control or contradiction, and alwav read)- to 

avenge an insult with a blow. Defective in imagination, 
confined himself to hard tacts, estimated accurately the 

difficulties to he overcome and the means at his disposal, and 
when he satisfied himself that a thing OUght and could be 
done, nothing could turn him from his purpo 

After leaving Cambridge in 1869, he lived for some years 
the rather vacuous life of a country squire — shot, played cricket, 
rode to hounds, held a commission in the militia, attended 
grand jury meetings, and filled the office of High Sheriff of 
Wicklow. Until 1874, when he joined the Home Rule League, 
he took no part in politics. But he shared his mother's good 
opinion of the Fenians, and was very indignant because her home 
in Dublin had been searched by the police. His sister Fanny 
had written poetry in 1865 for the Fenian newspaper, The 
Irish People ; and Parnell himself had scandalized the House of 
Commons by declaring that the Manchester martyrs were not 
murderers. In 1874 he contested Dublin County as a Home 
Ruler, but was beaten. He made a bad impression as a 
speaker, but he showed grit and determination, and was the 
bearer of an historic name ; and Mr. Butt rejoiced that when 
Mr. John Martin, M.P., died in 1875, Mr. Parnell was selected 
as his successor in the representation of Meath. 

In the sessions of 1875 and 1876 he was not very active 
in Parliament. He sat a silent and watchful spectator, and 
learned the rules of the House. But in 1877 he came into 
prominence. By that time he had satisfied himself that Butt's 
methods of argument and conciliation were useless, and that in 
the obstructive tactics of Mr. Biggar was the only hope for 
1 Vide General Butler's The Light of the West, pp. 52-91. 



I ill. HOME RU1 I IT 

Ireland in Pa nt i- talk out i Government measure on 

pointed to ind on other 

the half hour after midnight, was effct tive 

h. > 1 1 1 . t he rulefl of Parliament 

ration of contentious Bills. And to talk 

at random for the pui pose of len [thening out debate was wasting 

tune. Hut Parliament had a great reserve of strength, an 

almost limitless power of protecting it . it, and could easily put 

. manifest obstruction. Mr. Parnell saw this. He wanted 

tc tune as much a. Mr. Biggar, but he wanted to conceal 

his purpose. Theoretically, at least, Enj •„ 1 i -» 1 i and Irish members 
had equal rights, and if the former interfered to thwart Irish 
m iv it a, the latter might surely discuss English measures, 
dly if the discussions were in the interests of justice and 
public liberty, and for the protection of English minorities, and 
linst the class and selfish legislation of a tyrannical majority. 
This is what Mr. Parnell did. By moving amendments and 
challenging discussions he modified the harshest clauses of the 
Prisons Hill and the Mutiny Bill ; he improved the Factories 
and the Workshops Bill and the Army Discipline Bill ; and he 
made a determined stand against the South African Bill 
annexing the Transvaal to the British Empire. The friends of 
humanity appreciated his efforts, and on the Mutiny Bill sixty 
English members were on his side. More frequently, however, 
he was almost alone, always with his faithful friend, Mr. Biggar, 
to whom were soon added Mr. O'Connor Power, Mr. O'Donnell, 
Mr. Gray, Major Nolan, Major O'Gorman and a few others. 
Sometimes his whole party numbered ten, sometimes only five, 
but whether the greater or lesser number, they obstructed Bills, 
thwarted the Government, and wasted the time of the House 
of Commons. 

The Tory Government were enraged. They could tolerate 
obstruction by an English party, or even by a small fraction of 
an English party. They could tolerate an Irish party opposing 
a Coercion Bill ; but to have a small minority of the Irish Party 
obstructing English business was unendurable and must be 
put down. When, therefore, any of these Irish obstructives 



i in < >BS1 rn TIVl r< m.h 1 

rose to address the House, English members shouted, coughed, 
talked loud, hoping to wear out the patience oi the speaker. 

Mi. Biggai retorted by putting aftei every English Bill which 
was Introduced the notice thai it be read i d time that 

day six months, thus making it contention and destroying its 
chances of becoming law. Or, again, Mr. Pamell moved 
amendment after amendment, and when interrupted moved 
thai the Chairman leave the chair. The taunts and of 

members or of the newspapers affected him not the least. 
Disdaining to notice them, he grimly held his ground and only 
obstructed all the more. Sir Stafford Northcote wa then 
leader of the House, the Premier, Mr. Disraeli, havinj gone 
to the Lords in [876 as Earl of Beaconsfield: Sir Stafford 

was not a Strong man, but he was irritated at the Irish 
obstructives, and determined to wear them out as perhaps the 
best way to put them down. On the Prisons Bill the sittings 
were prolonged till three in the morning, by which time the 
Irish were exhausted and the Government had their way. 1 
On the Mutiny Bill there were more late sittings and stormy 
scenes. 2 On the South African Bill the climax was reached. 
By a system of relays the Government kept the House sitting 
for twenty-six consecutive hours. Mr. Parnell and his little 
band — seven in all — doggedly fought on, moving to report 
progress, moving that the Chairman leave the chair, and thus 
challenging division after division through the long watches of 
the night. In a contest of endurance, however, victory was 
with the big battalions, and at last the South African Bill 
passed through Committee. 3 

In these contests not only did the vast majority of the 
Liberals side with the Government, but even the majority of 
the Home Rulers also. And even Mr. Butt was induced to 
interfere and to condemn. Mr. Parnell would not give way 
even on some harmless clauses of the Mutiny Bill, and was 
deaf to all appeal. Mr. Butt was then approached by some 

1 New Ireland, p. 418. 2 Ibid. 422. 

3 The Parnell Movement, pp. 159-60; New Ireland, pp. 426-7; Annual 
Register, 1877, pp. 46-50. 



of hi I i ih ( Ion The 

latter flattered him by that he would lave the dignity 

t, and in re pon e to thi appeal he turned on Mr. 

Parnell with Ian tthing severity. 1 The latter then 

i, but in ■ public lettei complained of being attacked, 

two ■ heated correspondence followed, Mr. 

ifll firmly holding l ound English public opinion 

was si with Mr. Butt, but with the Irish people the 

i -.-I ied. After Parliament had been prorogued 

was held in the Rotunda in the last days of 

ind when Mr. Parnell arid Mr. Biggar appeared on 

the platform the cheers that greeted them were loud and long. 
A few days later the Home Rule Confederation of Great 
Britain held its annual meeting at Liverpool. An offshoot of 
the Home Rule League of Ireland, it was a much more militant 
Ltion, being largely recruited from the Fenian ranks. 
Hitherto it had elected Mr. Butt as its annual President, but 
recent events had alienated its allegiance, and in 1877 Mr. Butt 
was dethroned and Mr. Parnell took his place." 

Within the next few months the new President addressed 
meetings both in Great Britain and in Ireland, vigorously 
defending an active policy in Parliament, and asking the friends 
of Ireland everywhere to aid him in this policy. Mr. Butt, 
however, still clung to the old methods, and at a conference of 
Irish members in the City Hall, Dublin, in October, he violently 
assailed obstruction as ruinous to Irish interests. He renewed 
the attack at a Home Rule conference in Dublin in the follow- 
ing January. He was convinced that the best policy was to 
continue appealing to liberal-minded Englishmen, to do this 
persistently but temperately, without trenching upon the rights 
of England or lowering the dignity of Parliament. Mr. Parnell 
was willing to agree with this view if all English members, or 
even a great majority of them, were liberal-minded. But he 
denied that they were ; they were thinking only of their party 
and of its interests, and had no wish to redress or even listen 
to Irish grievances. Nor was Mr. Parnell the man to surrender 
1 Parnell Movement^ p. 158. 2 O'Brien's Parnell. i. 142-5. 



Bl II CONDI INS i \r\i l i 

opinions patiently and carefully formed, and thi c< 

which was called to end discord and promoti tt< i 

unchanged. 1 Yt\ the obstructivi i were nol < peciall) active 

in the e Ion Ol [878. Much ol I\l 1 . i'.u n< IT . t in pent 

on .1 Parliamentary Committee appointed to der hoi* i< 

to facilitate public business, winch really meant how best to 
stamp out obstruction, The Committee In due i ide 

its suggestions, from which Mr, Parnell differed in 1 minority 
report ;* and though th< tions received the sanction 

Parliament next year, public business was not advanced. 

In the meantime the Government pas ed in tl. 1 ion of 
1S7S an Irish intermediate Act. While still leaving the Royal 
Free Schools and Erasmus Smith Schools to Protestants, it 

set up for all, Catholics .is well as others, a system of public 
examinations, and with a capital sum of £1,000,000 taken 
from the Church Surplus Funds, it provided scholarships and 

prizes to successful students, and to intermediate schools gave 
large sums by way of result fees. 3 The followers of Mr. Butt 
pointed in triumph to this Act as the best justification of Mr. 
Butt's policy. And Mr. Butt himself, in the closing days of 
the year, wrote a public letter again condemning obstruction in 
vigorous terms. He asked in indignation how any right- 
minded man could take the oath of allegiance to the Queen, 
and then use his power as a member of Parliament to thwart 
and baffle all her measures. 4 This language was very grateful 
to English public opinion, as it was to nominal Home Rule 
members. But it did not promote peace in the Irish Party, it 
won Mr. Butt no new adherents, nor did it weaken Mr. Parnell's 
determination to continue an active policy, nor lessen his influ- 
ence with the masses of the Irish people. A further vigorous 
defence of his policy, and a vigorous attack on his opponents 
by Mr. Butt in February 1879, were equally barren of results. 
The obstructives remained unmoved, and their young leader 
was unconvinced and undismayed. 5 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 150-54. 2 Ibid. 155. 

3 O'Brien, Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland, ii. 324-26. 
4 Annual Register, pp. 209-10. 5 Parnell Movement, pp. 16 1-3. 



nil HO i EN1 

By that tine the old leadei wmm nearing the end And 
undoubtedly the events of the last couple ol yean hastened in 
ii h \ ■! ■ i he felt that he had failed. I l<- 

nothing bul ruin In Mr. Parnell's policy, but he 

.dually realized that it was wim . Haunts and that he 

himself was losi ound ; and ui 1K78 he wished to retire 

n Parliament. His resignation was not accepted by the 

nation .nn\ he was persuaded to leuiain. But he could not 
attend regularly in 1'arliainent, having to depend on his pro- 

• ■! fot .1 livin In addition to this his health began to 
fail. In the summer of 1878 he told his friend, Dr. O'Leary, 

of weakness, of palpitation, of une. nsations at the heart, 

of a want of readiness and vigour of thought, and he feared 
that the end was not far distant. He soon rallied, however, 
and at the meeting in February 1879 his great powers seemed 
at their best. Yet even a casual observer could see that death 
was near. After the meeting he fell ill, and on the 13th of 
May following the end came." With the modesty of greatness 
his desire was that he should be buried in the little churchyard 
his native parish of Stranorlar, with as little expense as 
possible, and without ostentation or parade. 3 Thus, in accord- 
ance with his own wish, there was no great funeral procession, 
no grave in Glasnevin, no proud monument, no inscription to 
recount his services to the land he loved well. But his country- 
men bore him in kindly remembrance, and if many thought it 
fortunate for Ireland that he then passed away, it was because 
they saw that his policy had failed and his methods had grown 
obsolete ; because in the stormy times that had come it was 
necessary that the helm should be grasped by a more vigorous 
hand. 

1 Parnell Movement, p. 162. 2 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 179-82. 

3 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 96-97. 



CHAPTER Ml 

J'/ir Land Ltagut 

The years which followed the Land Act of 1870 were 
prosperous years in Ireland, The seasons were good, th<- 
crops abundant, t lu- pric of farm stock abnormally high. 'I he 
Land Act in no way curtailed the landlord's right to raise 
rents, and he took full advantage of his powers. Yet the 

tenants willingly paid the increased rents. Whenever land was 
to be let there were many competitors for its possession, and 
when a tenant was evicted the landlord had no difficulty in 
finding a new tenant for the vacant holding. There was then 
no powerful organization to protect the evicted, and no one to 
raise the cry of grabber, and in their greed for land the farmers 
forgot the interests of their own class to satisfy the rapacity of 
the landlords. 1 In 1877 there came a change. In that year 
the potato crop was barely half that of the preceding year ; in 
1878 the crop was equally a failure; and in 1879 there was 
but a third of the average yield. Bankrupt and starving men 
could not pay rent, but the landlords, caring nothing for the 
people, insisted to the full on their legal rights ; and as rents 
were not and could not be paid they commenced to evict. In 
1877 the number of such evictions was 1323; in 1878, 1749 ; 
and in 1879 the number had risen to 2667. With famine 
and eviction the outlook was certainly dark, and it seemed as if 
the horrors of 1847 were to be renewed. 2 

Nor would the Government do anything to stay evictions or 
relieve distress. With distress in Great Britain and trouble 
abroad Ireland was forgotten, and when Parliament met in 
February 1879 ^s chief concern was about the affairs of 

1 New Ireland, pp. 429-30. 2 Parnell Movement, pp. 165-7. 

Vol. Ill 273 88 



mi LAND ! i ■' i 

i Zululand, Nothing was promised to Ireland 

tdment oi it. Grand Jury laws. 1 At i latei 

I 01 I ( iare'i ( a invention A< I of i 793 m 

tnd for t! ■ time t« >r nearly a hundred > eai - 

■ »l .Kid del i I by then countrymen were free 

t and di public questions. There wa 

Bill passed, which abolished the Queen's University 
and set up the Royal University In its p\w The Queen's 
coll ivere left undisturbed, still shunned by 

.iu h barred by ( 'atholic 
bishop Mot was any concession made except to allow 

Catholics in Common With other. ;<< Ik: examined for d< 

the Royal University did not require re idence, and was 
nothing more than an examining board. 1 

Nothing further would be done for Ireland. As if in 
Contempt of the country, Lord Beaconsfield had appointed Mr. 
James Lowther Irish Chief Secretary. He was but an ignorant, 

ho; ing country squire, more at home in the racing 

paddock than in Parliament, less familiar with the language of 
Statesmen, or even of intelligent politicians, than with the 
language of the stable and the horse jockey. In the end of 
May, Mr. O'Donnell, M.P. for Galway, called attention to the 
state of Ireland, and Mr. Parnell and others supported and 
emphasized the statements of Mr. O'Donnell. But Mr. 
Lowther, who knew nothing and cared nothing about Ireland, 
undertook to say that these statements were exaggerated, and 
that the depression in Ireland was " neither so prevalent nor so 
acute as the depression existing in other parts of the United 
Kingdom." 4 A month later Mr. O'Connor Power, M.P. for 
Mayo, one of the ablest of the Irish members, and one of the 
greatest orators in Parliament, moved the adjournment of the 
House to call attention to the subject of Irish distress. But 
neither the strong case he made nor the eloquence with which 
he spoke made any impression on the Government benches. 
The members talked and laughed while he spoke, so that he 

1 Animal Register, pp. 1-2, 33. 2 Ibid. 73. 

3 Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland, ii. 4 New Ireland, pp. 436-8. 



mi:. MICHA1 I. DAVI1 r 

was beard with difficulty. They were willing to L 

ivernment to pass new rule i for putting down obttruction, 
which meant putting down r.micii,' but they were not willing 
to listen to the cry of Irish distress, and closed their ' 
well .is their eai - even while famine wai advancing with rapid 
strides. 

There was then a more militant ipirit in Ireland than that 
which existed in i^.i~- The irishmen of [8 not 

willing to starve or be evicted, and if the Government would 
not help them they were determined to help themselw The 
most prominent exponent of the nev pel of defiance and 
self-help was Michael Davitt The son of a Mayo peasant, 

he was horn in iSjo at the little village of Straide. His 

parents, who had passed safely through the famine, were 
evicted in 1853, and the whole family, father, mother, son 
and two daughters, crossed to England and settled at 
Haslingden in Lancashire. To supplement the scanty 
earnings of his father, the little boy was sent at an early 
age to work in a mill, and one day his arm got caught by 
the mill machinery and was so seriously injured that it had 
to be amputated. He had already acquired some education 
and was clever and quick to learn, and perhaps the terrible 
misfortune which involved the loss of his right arm caused 
him to turn to books with fresh eagerness. At all events, 
he read and acquired knowledge, and was soon able to con- 
tribute to O'Leary's Fenian organ, The IrisJi People. He 
joined the Fenian organization and passed unharmed through 
the exciting times of 1867; but in 1870 he was arrested in 
London as a Fenian arms-agent and on the evidence of an 
informer was convicted. Sentenced to fifteen years' penal 
servitude, he was in 1878 liberated on ticket-of-leave. He 
was then a fairly well-educated man, for in prison he had 
availed himself of every opportunity given him to read. In the 
midst of unwholesome surroundings and degraded companions 
he had remained a good man, with high ideals and loftiness of 
aim. In the stone-breaking yard or in the prison-cell at Dart- 
1 O'Brien's Life of Pamell, i. 185. - Annual Register, p. 34. 



i 111 i \ *D LEAG1 i 

hi "i inland and it, wro and when 

a .1 to 1 1 Ike at In u 
rdism and Briti* h n i nment. 1 

'I he tin. not in iblc t"i a new forward inn 

it nine v. the landlords u< -re evi< tin;;, the 

illout. Already tla: able I of the American 

John 1 tevoy, an I tovitt bimi elf, 

rj a for an alliance between the Feniani and the 

l'arliamentai ians. .\^ long as the latter u«ie nndrr the 
; Hutt tl i DO hope for Ireland in Parlia- 

ment, and the Fenians turned from constitutional agitation 
with Contempt. Hut with 1'arnell it was different. His 
militant attitude, his evident capacity to lead, his hatred 
of I'm /land, captivated thousands of Fenians both at home 
and abroad, ami u on them over to parliamentary methods. 
I »:i the other hand, Oevoy hoped for little from Fenianism 
until the farmers joined, and lie wanted an alliance between 
revolutionists and Parliamentarians, on the basis of the 
destruction of landlordism, hading up to Irish independence. 
This came to be called the New Departure. It highly 
commended itself to Davitt, and when he landed in America 
in August 1878, he and Devoy won over to their views large 
numbers of the Clan -na- Gael. They could not, however, 
succeed with the Supreme Council of the I.R.B. Influenced 
by Kickham, it would have nothing to do with constitutional 
movements. Kickham was a man of much literary capacity, 
pure-minded and unselfish, but with little ability for practical 
politics. He ought to have seen that the American Fenians 
were powerless owing to the enforcement of neutrality laws 
by the United States ; that the home Fenians could only 
break out into futile rebellion ; and that to expect them 
with revolvers and guns to overcome the might of England 
was as reasonable as to expect that a modern fortress could 
be captured with bows and arrows. Yet he clung to the 
old worn-out methods, which were powerless either to do 
good to Ireland or harm to England. At the meeting of 
1 New Ireland, pp. 431-2 ; Davitt's Leaves from a Prison Diary. 



l in \i\\ DEPARTI ii 

the Supreme Council In Paris .it which both Devoy and 

l).ivitl Attended both I >< - 1 n •. mcmt>crs lie had his way, .mil 

no alliance was to be entered Into with the Parliamentariai 
though individual members might join the open movement 
it they plea led. 1 

Nor did Parnell teem i«> regard the new departure with 
special favour, In October [878 the Clan-na-Gael leaden 
were willing to join him if he dropped the demand foi 
Federal Home Rule in favoui of 1 ral declaration 

demanding self-government; if h<- vigorous! bated the 

Land question on the basis of a ])casant proprietary, excluded 
sectarian issues from his platforms, and helped all strug ;ling 
nationalities within the British Empire. 1 He was in favour 
d( most o( the items in this programme, and he liked the 

Fenians and wanted their assistance. lie would not, how- 
ever, have any formal alliance with them, and at no time was 
he willing to become a Fenian. But though Kickham on 
the one hand and Parnell on the other held aloof, the new 
departure was becoming' a reality. Devoy in America was 
an active propagandist ; Davitt was equally so at home, 
and events were so shaping themselves that Irish farmers 
were compelled to agitate, and a beginning was made for 
the final destruction of Irish landlordism. 

The first public meeting was held on the 19th of April 
1879, at Irishtown in Mayo. The parish priest of the place, 
Canon Burke, was also a small landlord. His father, within 
living memory, had doubled the rents of the several holdings, 
with the result that when bad times came arrears accumulated. 
Canon Burke was a kindly and a not ungenerous man, but he 
had the landlord's notions about landlord rights, and he refused 
either to forgive the arrears or reduce the rents, and threatened 
the tenants with eviction. Respect for his office made it 
difficult to rouse public opinion against him, and as local 
men were unwilling to take action, Davitt was appealed to, 
and he, after consulting with some friends in Claremorris, 
resolved to hold a public meeting. The necessary organiza- 

1 O'Brien's Fame//, i. 163-7, 176-7. 2 Ibid. 168-9. 



mi LAND ii tGUI 

i was in the hand [r. John O'Kane, Mi. r. \v. Nally, 

Mi. Jiihn Waj h, Mr. I P < fuinn, and othei , and both local 

rery ca 
many of those who formed tin- audience <>f 70< 
employed in ^li« »; me on theii 

they hated landlordism and longed for Its 
tructii -ii. I opponent-, of the 

. and had no drcail of Canon Bill 1 heir example 

d the farmers, who were not Fenian , with coun and 

it the fol applied the greater part of the audirmc who 

attended these meetings, it was the Fenians who supplied the 

anizing capacity and discipline, the enthusiasm and coura 
so necessary to carry a popular movement to success. Davitt 
himself; Mr. Thomas Brennan, a commercial clerk in Dublin 
with considerable ability as a speaker ; Mr. O'Connor Power, 
Ml'., more eloquent still ; Mr. John Ferguson of Glasgow, and 
Mr. James Daly of Castlebar were the principal speakers. 
They demanded the abolition of landlordism and the estab- 
lishment of a peasant proprietary, denounced rack-renting 
and eviction with special vehemence, and were answered back 
by the thousands round the platform with the cry of " Down 
with landlordism — the land for the people ! " One result 
of the meeting was that Canon Burke ceased his threats 
of eviction and gave an abatement of 25 per cent in the 
rents. And this led to other meetings where similar eloquence 
and enthusiasm were displayed. 1 

Mr. Parnell noted these events but refused to attend any 
meetings. For one thing, the priests were hostile, and he 
wanted no quarrel with the priests. But when Mr. Lowther 
in the House of Commons denied even the existence of Irish 
distress, Parnell delayed no longer and crossed over to Ireland 
to attend the Westport meeting on the 8th of June. And 
now the popular movement was attacked from an unexpected 
quarter, the assailant being none other than John MacHale, 
Archbishop of Tuam. He was then nearly ninety years of 
age, feeble in body and in mind, entirely controlled by his 
1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism^ pp. 147-51. 



I \l\l I.I. [I HNS I'.W III 

nephew, the Very Rev Dr. Mai Hale, a ih.hi with '"> popular 
mpathic To the latter, and not t<> th • it popular 
champion, wrai attributed the lettei igned "John, Archbi hop 
of Tium." it attacked the new movement ai that "t •• I 
designing men who lought only t<> promote their i- i onal 
interests, a movement tending to impiety and disorder in 
Church and in society. Th( enerotu words from 

the man whom 0*Connell li.nl styled the Lion of the Fold 
of Judah, who next to O'Connell was the I popular 

champion of his time. But the letter 'lid not deter Parnell 

nor spoil the meeting. Even a larger number asa mbled than 

at Irish tOWn, and 8OOO men cheered Ion;.; and loud when 

Parnell advised them not to submit to eviction, but to "keep 
a firm grip »>f their homesteads." 1 

In the next month Parnell found himself again in 
opposition to the clergy. A vacancy occurred in the 
representation of Ennis, and Mr. William O'Brien, a Catholic 
Whig, a place-hunter, and afterwards a judge, had the support 
of the Bishop and priests. Parnell put forward a Mr. J. L 
Finnigan, an advanced Home Ruler, and the latter was 
placed at the head of the poll. But Parnell disliked 
opposing the clergy, and when the Royal University was 
passing through the House of Commons he favoured the 
Catholic bishops' demand for a Catholic University, and 
expressed his entire disapproval of the Bill as failing to 
satisfy their demand. 2 

Davitt was meanwhile holding meetings, and the cry of 
" Down with landlordism " was raised from many a platform. 
And when Parliament rose Parnell at once returned to Ireland, 
and during the months of August, September and October 
attended meetings Sunday after Sunday, and was listened 
to by thousands, anxious to hear what he had to say. 
His oft-repeated advice to the farmers was to combine, to 
ask for a reduction of rent when necessary, and when the 
reduction was refused to pay no rent. As for exterminating 

1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 153-5. 
2 O'Brien's Life of Parnell, i. 19 1-2. 



rtfl LAND li IGI i 

i then nment wrouli att< mpt it . 

I them ' and the) ■ ere inviru ible. 1 

1 1 r. Itt in A otint) ( Convention In ( lastle 

ided ti I »ii. ii I and I i to protet I 

d ti lit landlordism , ami he had been urging Parnell 

turn this into ■ national ition, with i central body 

in Dublin and branches throughout the land. But Parnell 

believing thai the central body would be held 

ponsible for the conduct of the branches, and that it would 

tually restrain thereckk I which 

branches might d .*-' Finally, how 

i, he .. . and on the- 21st of October the National 

t Mayo Was turned into the Irish National Land 

igue. Mi'. Parnell had invited the attendance of representa- 
tive public men, who met at the imperial Motel, Dublin, and 
tiu; ntral bod\- was formed charged with the conduct of 

the agitation. The declared objects of the Land League were 
to reduce rack-rents and promote peasant proprietary ; its 
methods were to be organization of the farmers, and protection 
of those threatened with eviction or actually evicted for unjust 
rents. Mr. Parnell was elected President of the League ; 
Messrs. A. J. Kettle, Davitt and Brennan, Secretaries ; and 
M ssrs. Biggar and Sullivan, M.P.'s, and Egan, Treasurers. It 
was resolved that an appeal should be made to the Irish race 
for funds to sustain the new movement, and that Mr. Parnell 
should proceed to America and make the appeal in person. 
By that time the suspicion with which the clergy at first 
regarded the agitation had partially disappeared, and of the 
fifty-three members of the Central Committee of the League no 
less than thirteen were priests. 3 

In November Messrs. Davitt, Daly and Killeen, B.L., were 
prosecuted for speeches delivered at Gurteen in Sligo County, 
and Mr. Brennan for a strong speech made near Balla. But 
the Government despaired of a conviction and the prosecutions 
were dropped, with consequent loss of prestige to the Govern- 

1 Annual Register, pp. 94-95. 2 O'Brien's Life of Parnell, i. 191. 

3 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 170-73. 



PARNI ii IM i 

nirnt Itself, and i 1 1 >n lequent ln< n i •• ■ I Infl and itrength 

to the League. Mr, Pai nell lepartui foi Am< i 

le il it mi ;ht in- iaid that he wb i afraid <>i c< uted. 

He even attended the meeting In Balla and d Mr. 

Brennan on hia i, 1 and he attended the trial in ! ind 

it w.is no! till the end of December that he lefl Ireland 

Accompanied by Mr. John Dillon, he landed at Men York 
In the first week in January. By tli.it time the reality oftl 
distress, especially in Connaught, could not b 
by the Government, and the Lord- Lieutenant's wife, the 
Duchess of Marlborough, formed a committee to I food 

and clothing for the starving people. The Lord Mayor of 
Dublin, Mr, Gray, M.P., formed the Mansion House Commit- 
tor the same purpose ; and in America the New York Herald 

also formed a committee, and invited Mr, l'arnell's co-opera- 
tion. But he refused. He was determined that no funds 
subscribed should go, as in 1^47, into the pockets of the 
landlords. He appealed for help not to subsidize but to 
destroy landlordism, the fruitful parent of so many famines ; 
he appealed to the Irish in America to unite among them- 
selves and with their brethren at home for the old land, 
and he appealed for American sympathy against English 
misgovernment.' 2 

He was received with enthusiasm. Governors of States, 
mayors of cities, bishops, judges, senators, members of Congress, 
eminent professional men, distinguished military officers, 
merchants and newspaper editors, crowded to his platforms. 
At New York he addressed 8000 persons, with a judge in the 
chair. At Newark a detachment of the Ninth Regiment 
escorted him through the streets. At Philadelphia Mr. Childs, 
the editor of the Public Ledger, handed him a subscription of 
one thousand dollars. At Boston the Mayor was in the chair, 
and the great orator, Wendell Phillips, was one of the speakers. 
At Indianopolis the Governor of the State met him at the 
railway station. At Toledo he was received with a military 
salute of twenty-one guns. At Buffalo and Chicago he received 

1 Annual Register^ pp. 100-10 t. 2 Ibid., 1880, pp. 3-4. 



\* Wa Kington he was Invited to 

i : , an honoui never befoi e 

ed to i | A to I icneral I afaj and 

th The 1 1**11 ided it »n to I 

him vigorously denounce Irish landlordism. At Toronto and 

Montreal in Canada 1 lis welcoi enthusiastic, and at the 

latter place he w led "the uncrowned king." In two 

months li tixty-two i and travelled nearly 1 1,000 

miles, *u\i[ i d in all, partly tor political pin; hut 

principally for the relief ol di tn , a sum of £50,000. He 

al founded the American Land League, with its central body 
and its branches like the home organization, with John lJevoy 

a one <>t its treasurers, and in its councils cordially acti 

together both constitutionalist and ( lan-na-Gael. 1 Leaving 
Dillon to carry on the work of the League, Parnell then 
BSed to Ireland. A dissolution of Parliament had been 
Sprung upon the country, and it was this which suddenly ended 
his triumphal progress through America and caused his sudden 
return home. He arrived at Queenstown on the 21st of March, 
nearly a fortnight after Lord Beaconsfield had announced the 
dissolution in a letter addressed to the Duke of Marlborough. 

At the opening of Parliament in February, Mr. Shaw, who 
succeeded Butt as Home Rule leader, proposed an amendment 
to the Address, calling for comprehensive measures of relief, 
and also for legislation on the tenure of land, the neglect 
of the latter being the true cause of the constantly recurring 
disaffection and distress in Ireland. The Government, how- 
ever, opposed and defeated the amendment, though it was 
proved by the official returns of the Registrar-General that 
the state of Ireland was serious. These figures, in fact, 
" staggered many who had previously been disposed to believe 
that the Irish distress had no serious foundation except in the 
imaginations of Home Rulers and anti-rent agitators." 2 All 
the Government did was to pass a Relief of Distress Act, under 
which a sum of £1,000,000 was voted from the Church 

1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 193-21 1 ; O'Brien's Life of Parnell, 
i. 204-7. 2 Annual Register, p. 10. 



iiiii.i fERAL ELECTION 01 I 80 

Surplus Fund to Irish landlords and sanitary auth to 

spend on drainage and reclamation of lands. Paid out foi 
labom to the tenants, it came back to the landlord a rent, 
while the tenant starved. 1 In the next month, with a callo 
ness rarely equalled, I .< rd Beaconsfield appealed to the country 
on an antl Irish cry, The Irish demand for Home Rule he 
characterised as a danger scarcely le i disastrous than pestilei 
ami famine, and those Liberals who favoured such a poll 
were labouring fof the disintegration of the United Kingdom, 

having already "attempted and failed to enieeMc our Coloni 

by their policy of decomposition." 

Lord Beaconsfield'a opponents, however, did not allow the 
electoral battle to be confined to the subject of Ireland, and the 

whole Tory policy was vigorously impeached. As far back 
1S70 Mr Gladstone had come forth from the retirement of his 
library to denounce before the world the horrors perpetrated in 
Bulgaria under Turkish rule, where rape and robbery were the 
common acts of civil and military officials, and Government 
was an organized massacre. Though the public mind of 
England was profoundly stirred, Lord Beaconsfield continued 
to support Turkey, and on her behalf had well-nigh plunged 
the country into war. 3 But the seed sown by Mr. Gladstone 
ripened in good time, and when the dissolution came, besides 
their support of the Turks, the Tories had provided abundant 
material for attack. " At home," said Mr. Gladstone, " they 
have neglected legislation, aggravated the public distress, 
augmented the public expenditure, and plunged the finances 
into a series of deficits unexampled in modern times." And 
abroad they had aggrandised Russia, lured Turkey to her ruin, 
replaced the Christian population of Macedonia under a 
debasing yoke, " and from day to day, under a Ministry 
called, as if in mockery, Conservative, the nation is perplexed 
with fear of change." 4 The answer of the nation to this 
formidable indictment was to bring in a verdict of guiity, and 

1 Annual Register, pp. 9-12 ; O'Brien's Pamell, i. 208-9. 

2 Annual Register, pp. 32-33. 3 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 156-77. 

4 Annual Register, pp. 34-35. 



mi LAND 1.1 . v.i i 

had t' 
rliament Of the remainder 3 \j were Liberals 
1 1. >mc Rulei 

In Mi. I'anicll's . the Irish member* had advised 

the li ish in 1 1 'and t' i<'i I he I liberals, and it 

• i\ •' tin ned ti. e in fort) con ititm n( 1 

Mr. Parnell would have preferred to iiipport th< T01 

that Lord Beaconsfield would have plunged the 
:nt»> iomi difficulty from which benefit 

would tO Ireland. In Ireland his anxiety was to 

strike .a the Whigi and Whig Home Rulei Travelling 
by special train, he visited many constituei md was thus 

able to do the work of many. And his success was con- 
sid< : In Mayo he turned out the moderate Home Ruler, 

Mr. Browne J in Roscommon, the Whig O'Connor Don; in 

rk City, the two sitting members; in Cork Count)' he all 
but succeeded in ousting Mr. Shaw. He was himself elected 
for Me. ah, Mayo and Cork City; Mr. Dillon was elected for 
Tipperary; Mr. Sexton for Sligo; Mr. T. P. O'Connor for 

'way City, Mr. O'Kclly for Roscommon: Mr. T. D. 
Sullivan for Westmcath; Mr. John Barry for Wexford. 
Messrs. Biggar and Justin MacCarthy were re-elected, and 
so was Mr. Gray, the Lord Mayor of Dublin." Many 
of those elected were young and new to Parliament, and not 
a few were destined to acquire fame. Mr. T. D. Sullivan was 
the author of well-known songs and ballads, and though not 
so eloquent as his brother Alexander, was a useful member 
and an honest man. Mr. Justin MacCarthy was a cultured 
Cork man, whose History of Our Own Times was even then 
known and admired throughout the English-speaking world. 
Mr. Gray, the owner of the Freeman's Journal, was son of Sir 
John Gray, and had even more than his father's ability. In 
honesty and courage Mr. John Dillon resembled his father, the 
Young Irelander and rebel of 1848. Mr. T. P. O'Connor was 
a brilliant journalist, eloquent both with voice and pen. Mr. 
Sexton, hitherto unknown, gave evidence during his election 

1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 216-20. 2 Nov h'cla?id, pp. 447-9- 



i HE m W IRISH i.i n 

contest <»i great oratoi i« al powei • Mi O'Kell] lil 

full of adventure and romance. A Penian and ■ oldier ol 

the Foreign Legion ol France, he had fought In M< nd 

in Cuba, .nid bad been an inmate < >\ .1 Mexican as Wi I .1 

of .1 Spanish prison. Except M i . Gray, all th roured 

Mr. Parnell's advanced policy, and when the Home Rule pai 
met to elect its Chairman, Mr. Parnell was elected by 23 
votes, only 18 votes being cast for his opponent Mr, Shaw. 1 
Had the whole 65 members returned as Home Rul 
acted loyally together much might have been done under 
such a vigorous leader as Mr. Parnell. But it was calculafc 

that four of the 65 could scarcely be called Home R,ul( 

at all;' J many more were not sincere and refused even to 
attend the meeting .it which Mr. Shaw was deposed ; and 
Mr. Shaw's supporters, refusing to abide by the decision 
arrived at, remained in the House of Commons on the 
Government side, while the Parncllites crossed over to the 
Opposition side in pursuance of their avowed policy of 
Independent Opposition. 

It was no doubt well that the Tories had been driven 
from office, that Mr. Gladstone, the friend of Ireland, was 
Premier, that three of his colleagues were such friends of 
liberty and justice as Mr. Bright, Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. 
Forstcr ; and it was an augury of better things that the 
expiring Coercion Act was not to be renewed. Yet it was 
plain that the Government were not about to embark on any 
Irish land legislation ; nor did the Queen's Speech, though 
dealing with Turkey and India and South Africa, promise 
anything to Ireland but an extension of the borough franchise 
and a possible measure for the relief of distress. 3 And mean- 
time 500,000 persons were on the books of the Irish Relief 
Committees ; rents were not and could not be paid, with a 
consequent large increase of evictions ; and at Land League 
meetings held all over the land landlordism was vigorously 
denounced, and language of menace used towards the evictors 

1 Parnell Movement, pp. 175-96. 2 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 220. 

3 Annual Register, pp. 6^-66. 



mi LGUJ 

Government which would be wicked enough 
kin them l 

w§ tl • condition ol things in June, when Mi 

Powei brought in ■ Hill to stay eviction! l>y 

the landlord in every case to compensate foi 

turbam The Chief Mr. Porster, instead of 

opp took the matter In hand him elf, and brought in 

a Compensation foi Disturbance Bill on the pari of the 

iment It did not go far, and only entitled an evicted 

tenant to compensation when he could show that his inability 

to pay rent wai not due to idleness or want of thrift. It 

I tl i House oi Commons but was ignominiously thrown 

out by the I Mr. Parnell suggested that the Hill should 

i»- reintroduced and as part of the Appropriation Hill sent 

tin u> the Lords. Hut Mr. Forster refused to do this, and 

the iri^h tanners, left to the mercy of the evictors, had to 

fall back on agitation and organization as their only resource." 

When Parliament rose in August, Mr. Parnell crossed 

over to Ireland and attended a series of meetings. He v\as 

not an orator, but he could say always what he wanted to 

Bay, and the thousands who listened to him had no difficulty 

in understanding what he wished them to do. Aiming then 

at the destruction of landlordism and the establishment of 

a peasant proprietary, he advised them to unite, to combine, 

to be loyal to each other, to refuse to pay unjust rents or 

submit to eviction, to have nothing to do with farms from 

which others had been evicted. " What are you to do," he 

said at Ennis in September, " to a tenant who bids for a 

farm from which his neighbour has been evicted?" "Shoot 

him," said a voice from the crowd. " I think," said Mr. 

Parnell, " I heard somebody say, ' Shoot him,' but I wish to 

point out to you a very much better way. When a man 

takes a farm from which another has been evicted you must 

show him on the roadside when you meet him, you must 

show him in the streets of the town, you must show him at 

1 Parnell Movement, pp. 197-9. 
2 Annual Register, pp. 79-88, 104; O'Brien's Parnell, i. 230-33. 



BOYCOTTING 

the shop counter, In the fail and In the market place, and 

even in the house Of WO\ ihip, l>y leaving liim severely alone, 

by putting Kim Into a moral Coventry, by i olating him from 

his kind as if he WU I lepCl of old ; yOU uni t ihOfV hun yOUl 

detestation of the crime he has committed, and you may 
depend upon it that there will be no man <> full oi a 
so lost to shame as to dare the public opinion ol all right 
thinking men and to trail your unwritten code o( 

laws." '" 

Before tin- month was out this adviCC was acted upon 

in the case of Captain Boycott In Mayo, who dwelt nc 
Ballinrobe, on the picturesque shores of Lough Mask. As 
•nt to the Bar! of Erne, he refused to accept the rents 
offered by the tenants, standing out for the full amounts 

due, and then issuing processes of ejectment. The tenants 
retaliated by attacking the process-server and driving him 
into the shelter of Lough Mask Mouse. But further, partly 
by persuasion, principally by terror and threats, they got 
Captain Boycott's servants and labourers to leave him. No 
one would save his crops, no one would drive his car, the 
smith would not shoe his horses, the laundress would not 
wash for him, the grocer would not supply him with goods ; 
even the post-boy was warned not to deliver his letters. The 
Ulster Orangemen came to the rescue, and fifty ot them, 
escorted by police and military with two field -pieces, came 
to Lough Mask. They saved the Captain's crops, valued at 
^350, but at an estimated cost to the State and to the Orange 
Society of ^3500; and when they left Lough Mask House 
became vacant, for Captain Boycott fled to England. The 
genial and witty parish priest of the Lough Mask district, 
Father John OMalley, suggested to his friend Mr. Redpath, 
an American journalist, perplexed for a suitable word, that 
boycott was a better word than ostracise, the latter being too 
difficult to be understood by the people. The hint was taken, 
the w r ord used in this sense gradually gained currency and 
became incorporated in the English language, and of all 
1 O'Brien's Lift of Parnell, i. 236-7 ; Annual Register, pp. 108-10. 



i iii L kNP 11 \«.i i 

I by tlu- Land I none was more 

.1 by landlordi and thcii friends than the terrible weapon 

All this tunc the Land I reading all < i 

1 land and even in Great Britain, while Mi. Davitt v 

up.; it in Ami public m i were being held 

ru-iv Sunday ; tin- re< .it the central branch coming 

in by hundi ind tl. . Is ol \ ounds, tlu- police and 
pro had been openly defied in the early part of 

tin in the- wild and desolat Oni < .1 (anaroe, and 

since then many collisions bad occurred between people and 

noli And there uian on!- too. In Mayo 

a bailiff named Fecrick had been shot, and a landlord named 

Lewin fired at: iii Wexford a landlord's son had been shot 
id, and in Gal way Lord Montmorris had met a similar fate. 
All this had occurred before Parnell's Ennis speech and could 
not, therefore, be attributed to any advice he gave ; but none the 
less these outrages came from the strained relations between 
landlord and tenant, and from the excitement which prevailed l. 1 
Mr. Forster was perplexed. He had visited Ireland in the 
terrible year of 1846, and what he then saw made an indelible 
impression on his mind. With the generous love of the 
Quaker for his fellow-men, he relieved suffering and induced 
others to relieve, and he wished to give permanent relief to the 
Irish people. 5 And when he took office as Chief Secretary in 
1880, his desire was to do good to Ireland. The Irish 
members expected much from him, and were grievously 
disappointed that he had made no attempt to overawe the 
House of Lords after the rejection of the Disturbance Bill, still 
more so at his sending police and military to aid in the work 
of eviction ; and when he announced in Parliament that he 
had caused buckshot to be served out to the police instead of 

1 Annual Register, pp. 11 8-21 ; Davitt, pp. 274-9. 

- Davitt, pp. 247-55. 3 Ibid. 213-30. 

4 Ibid. 261-3, 268-9; Annual Register, p. 1 10. 

5 Wemyss Reid's Life of Forster, i. 169, 172-203. 

6 Ibid. 235-6. 



iiiitiiiii SECRETARY MS KO 

tlu- more dangerous ball cartridge, an Irish membei hurled al 
him .iii«).. the limn ui iIh Mouse the epithet, Bucl hot 
Forater. 1 Hut angr) as tin- Irish membera might !><-, the 
i [Hsh newspapei < and l < n 1 hey 

ailed Forstei aa condoning illegality, I . murder unde 

tected, and allowing incitements to murdei to : , . , » unpunished. 

adually he was thus driven down the aby s, and In I 
beginning of November Messrs. Parnell, Biggar, Dillon, T. I> 
Sullivan and Sexton, and nine other prominent I.< 
prosecuted for conspiracy to incite the tenants not to \< 

their rents, and in consequence to injure the landlords. I ! e 

trial lasted from the nn\ of December to the end of January, 

and resulted in a disagreement, one juror declaring thai ten 

jurymen were tor acquittal. 1 To Mr. Forster the result was 

no surprise. He was not sanguine of obtaining a conviction, 
and satisfied thai the ordinary law was unable to grapple with 

the Land League, was already pleading Tor coercion. The 
Lord- Lieutenant, Lord Cowper, vigorously supported his 
demand. But Mr. Gladstone was unwilling to acquiesce. Mr. 
Bright declared that for the state of Ireland force was no 
remedy, and Mr. Chamberlain's views were similar. 3 Forster, 
however, had supporters within the Cabinet, and was persuasive 
and persistent, and in addition threatened to resign. 4 At last 
the Ministry yielded, and when Parliament opened on the 6th 
of January the Queen's Speech announced that an Irish Land 
Bill would be introduced, but that it would be preceded by a 
Coercion Bill/' 

In the debate on the Address, Mr. Parnell made a carefully- 
prepared and very able speech. Condemning outrages and 
deprecating violence of language, he claimed that the Land 
League agitation was a purely constitutional movement. 
There had been, he admitted, some strong speeches made by 
thoughtless and irresponsible orators, but outrages had not 

1 Davitt, p. 265. - Ibid. 286-93 ; Annual Register, pp. 1 12-13, II5-I& 

3 Parnell Movement, p. 206. 
4 Wemyss Reid, ii. 256-73 ; O'Brien's Parnell, i. 258-62. 
:> Annual Register, pp. 5-6. 
Vol. Ill 89 



i ill LAND LEAGU1 

d the very few which took place had been 

I b) the English Pre • . He < [aimed 

pie the right to oi and ui<-<-t and demand 

ind he warned the G ►vemment that coercion would 

than lessen their difficulties. Speaking without 

i, and supported by statistic , he made Rich an impression 

that an Irish 1 i n y iiicinl M Cribed the p | li 1 1 one (jf the 

moat adroit, intelligent and sagacious that h<- had ever heard 
i ed in the 1 [oust of Common 
Hut Mi not convinced, and when the debate 

on the Addi luded, he introduced his Coercion Bill. 

it I a Hill for the Protection of Person and Property 

in Ireland, was to last until the end of September 1882, and 
enabled the Lord-Lieutenant to arrest and detain in prison 

any one whom he reasonably suspected of unlawful acts. Mr. 
ForstCT was an eloquent speaker, and in describing the condition 
of Ireland it was a lurid picture which he drew. Nothing was 
omitted that could strengthen his case. Ireland was seething 
with lawlessness ; agrarian outrages for the year were the 
highest on record ; terror and intimidation were everywhere ; 
houses and haystacks were burned ; men taken from their beds 
at night and carded, perhaps maimed or murdered ; and if they 
themselves were uninjured, at least their cattle were houghed or 
killed. No man was safe, and the law-abiding were shaking 
with fear. If a man worked for one who was boycotted, if he 
paid his rent against the wishes of his fellow-tenants, if he took 
an evicted farm, if he gave evidence against an accused person, 
or being a juryman convicted, — if he did any of these things 
he was marked for vengeance. The planners of these outrages 
were well known to the police ; they were the mauvais sujets, 
the village tyrants of their districts ; and Mr. Forster was 
convinced that when they were safely under lock and key the 
law-abiding citizen might sleep in peace. He ended by saying 
that to bring in any Coercion Bill was the most painful duty 
of his life, and that if he had thought such a duty would have 
devolved on him he would never have taken the office of Irish 
1 Hansard, eclvii. 195-203, 251. 



FOP 'M i I i OERi I- >N BILL 
Secretary. 1 On tin* Irish benches then- was n«> •> nip.it !i' ' i< 

response, and i ( " five nights the Irish members debated and 
obstructed. At length, on the ind oi February, sftei s 
continuous sitting of forty-one hours, the Speakei Intervened 
He described the speeches made as irrel trant, and the motions 
for adjournment as dilatory and obstructive, and itopping all 
further discussion he put the question, and the first read! 
was carried by an enormous majorit 

Challenged as to why he acted in this high-handed fashion, 
the Speaker replied that he ai ted on his own responsibility and 
from a sense of duty to the House, and the House by an 

enormous majorit)' sustained him. But the Irish innnlx 

were not to be silenced with impunity, and In criticizing the 
Speaker's conduct many speeches were made and much time 

wasted. 1 In these circumstances Mr. Gladstone got the assent 
of the House to new and drastic rules of procedure, the effect 
of which was to make the Speaker an autocrat. At any stage 
of a measure he was empowered to summarily stop all dis- 
cussion and put the question, provided that there were 300 
members at least present, that a Minister moved for urgency, 
and was sustained by a majority of three to one. 1 The new 
rules were manifestly aimed at the Irish members, and were 
not passed without some passionate scenes. On one occasion 
the whole party of thirty-six were suspended for the sitting. 5 
When they resumed attendance their obstructive tactics were 
renewed, and in spite of the new rules the Protection of Person 
and Property Bill had not passed its final stages until the 28th 
of February. No Coercion Bill for Ireland has ever been 
delayed in the House of Lords, and on the 2nd of March it 
received the Royal Assent. It was soon supplemented by an 
Arms Act, making it penal to carry arms in any district 
proclaimed by the Lord- Lieutenant. The enormous powers 
given by these Acts Mr. Forster proceeded to use, and before 
the end of March more than one prison was filled with the 

1 Hansard, eclvii. 1209-35. 2 Ibid. 2033-4; Morley's Gladstone, ii. 292-3. 
3 Hansard, eclviii. 7-43. 4 Ibid. 155-6. 

5 Ibid. 69-88. 6 ftf£ cd j x . I4 8!. 



1 111 I. \\1» II v. 

lute i mil i hi< ii he believed w« 

h and in disorder. Mr. Davitt'a ti< keel <<t leave bad 
led In the cud o( February, and when the I 

a . <d In- u;t udy in Portland 

on 

With ief Mi. Gladstone tinned from the dreary 

work i Ion to the worl form, and on the 7th ol 

April he introduced in. Land Bill. A Commission — the 

borough Commission appointed in the previous year — had 
just recommended drastic changes In the land laws, and 

rtainly Mr. Gladstone's Bill was a great step in advance. 

And it was certain also that it was a concession to agitation, 

I even to violence. Mr. Gladstone himself declared long 
after that "without the Land League the Act of 1881 would 
not now be on the Statute Book." 1 And an Ulster Liberal 
was assured by the Irish Attorney-General, Mr. Law, that no 
than twenty-two Bills had been drafted by the Ministry, 
each an improvement on its pred< eessor ; that " as lawlessness 
and outrage increased in Ireland, the Bill was broadened until 
it reached its final dimensions." 2 The Bill set up Land Courts 
to fix rents between landlord and tenant, giving the latter a 
judicial lease at the judicial rent fixed, giving him also free 
sale ; and, further, the Bill facilitated land purchase. 3 This 
was a revolution rather than a reform. Mr. A. M. Sullivan has 
recorded that as he listened to Mr. Gladstone's speech intro- 
ducing the Bill his mind went back to the days of Sharman 
Crawford and Lucas and Moore ; he felt like one who, after 
the cruel trials and privations of the desert, had at length got a 
glimpse of the Promised Land. 4 

Yet on the Irish benches the Bill was coldly received. The 
enforcement of Coercion had embittered the Irish members 
against the Government. They spoke of Forster as if he were 
Cromwell, and Gladstone they hated because he sustained 
Forster ; and any measure of reform coming from such men 
they would have received with suspicion and without gratitude. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 293. 2 Ibid. 299. 

3 Hansard, eclx. 890-926. 4 New Ireland, p. 457. 



GLADSTONE'S I wi> BILL 

An Irish National I onvention left I'ann-ll fr< to a<(<pt 

rejei t the Bill, and in fai I Parnell did not vote i 

sccoml oi third readin He found fault with It be* iti* 

Irtt the .me. us due •■line the I). id w.u o( I878 ') IMtOUClH 

because it did nothing i<m leaseholdei . i i foi the reliei ol con 
ition in the poverty-stricken districts ol the We I , and he 
had no hope thai the Land Courts would be fair to the tenant 
But though Mi. Parnell did all this he wanted the Bill, and in 
reality was playing a deep game. To welcome the measure 
might have encouraged the Government to accept Toiy amend- 
ments in Committee; to find fault induced the Government to 

accept amendments from the Irish members. Many of the 

amendments were moved l>y Mr. Parnell ; others by Mr. Charles 

Russell — afterwards Lord Russell of Killowcn ; but the 1- 
work was done on the Irish side by a young man of twenty-five, 
Mi. T. ML Healy, MP. for Wexford. Not even Mr. Gladstone 
had mastered more thoroughly the whole details of this most 
complicated measure. In 1880 Mr. Healy acted as Parnell's 
private Secretary ; in 1881 he was prosecuted by Forster, and 
the same year was elected to Parliament, where, though he 
spoke often, his ability did not gain rapid recognition. But 
when the Land Bill emerged from Committee his fame was 
assured, and he has since shown himself to be one of the most 
brilliant Irishmen who ever entered the British Parliament. 3 

On the 30th of July the Land Bill was read a third time. In 
the House of Lords there was the usual whittling down of every 
concession to Ireland. Negotiations between the two Houses 
followed, ending in compromise and agreement, and on the 22nd 
of August the Bill received the Royal Assent. 4 

A fierce struggle was meanwhile carried on in Ireland. In 
spite of Forster's assurances not to use the Coercion Act except 
against dissolute ruffians and village tyrants, those imprisoned 
were usually men of unimpeachable character, the most trusted 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 294 ; Hansard, eclxi. 928. 

2 Hansard, eclxi. 883-97. 

3 O'Connor's Parnell Movement, pp. 208-12 ; Annual Register (copy of 
original Land Bill and of Act passed). 4 Hansard, eclxi. -eclxv. 



Tin l and LEAGU1 

• I men in their districts Mr, Dillon was sent to 
Kilmainham In May, and ■ fortnight latei Father Sheehy o( 
Kilmallock. The police wen- freely placed at th< ice of 

landlords, and more than once collisions between 

and police occurred, In one of these a woman was 
killed in Mayo, and in Sligo two men, while the police also 

nitTered at the hands of the infuriated mob. Many districts 

wtrt proclaimed, and over these magistrates armed with 

extraordinary powers swaggered like Turkish pashas. In 
Kilmallock a hot-headed bravo named Clifford Lloyd, in his 
capacity of resident mi de, drove peaceful citizens off the 

ets with his stick, sentenced women at his residence to 
terms of imprisonment, and had girls prosecuted because one 
of them called a policemen " Clifford Lloyd's pet." These 
things were repeatedly brought before Parliament, but each 
time Forster defended both magistrates and police. 1 The 
struggle, however, was telling on him, and in June he wished 
to resign, sorrowfully bewailing that now he could never do 
what he wished to have done for Ireland. 2 

In the middle of August there was a gleam of hope. 
Outrages decreased in July and again in the first half of 
August. 3 Mr. Gladstone favoured the relaxation of coercion. 
Mr. Dillon had already been released owing to ill-health, and 
Mr. Gladstone wished for the release of Father Sheehy, thinking 
it would give the Land Act a better chance of fair play with 
the people. But Mr. Forster was still wedded to coercion, and 
wanted first of all to break up the Land League and weaken 
Parnell's hold on the people. 4 This task was not so easy. In 
September a great National Convention was held in Dublin to 
discuss the whole Irish situation, and lasted#for three days. Mr. 
Parnell advised that there should be no rush to the new Land 
Courts, that only certain test cases should be submitted under 
the direction of the Land League. A rush to the Courts, he 
thought, would mean imperfect consideration of cases and small 

1 Vide Hansard, cclxii.-cclxv. ; T. P. O'Connor's Parnell Movement, pp. 
229-30. 2 Reid's Forster, ii. 323-4. 

3 Hansard, eclxv. 252. 4 Reid's Forster, ii. 334-7. 



THE P \ k x 1 i i ri i \ wi> 'i HE LIBERALS 

reductions. This advice u.i'. accepted by the Convention* 1 
Both Forster and Gladstone became angry, Foi fcer had long 
entertained something lilse personal animosity towards Parnell; 
Gladstone believed him to be mischievously interfering, standing 
between the living and the dead, "not, like Aaron, to stay bul 
to spread the plague"; and in this same speech he told him 
in menacing tones that the resources of civilization were not 

yet exhausted. 1 This speech was delivered at Leeds on tin 7th 
of October, and on the [Oth of the same month Parnell replied to 
it at Wexford. I le defied Gladstone to trample on the rights of 
the Irish nation, with no moral force behind him, and in language 

of scorn and passion described him as a masquerading knight- 
errant ready to champion every nation but Ireland. : Three days 
later Parnell was lodged in Kilmainham Prison ; and when 
Gladstone announced the fact at a public meeting in London, 
his audience sprang to their feet and cheered M as if it had been 
the news of a signal victory gained by England over a hated 
and formidable enemy." 4 Dillon, Sexton, and O'Kelly, M.P.'s, 
were also lodged in Kilmainham. They struck back by issuing 
a manifesto advising the people to pay no rent. But the 
manifesto was assailed by Dr. Croke, Archbishop of Cashcl, 
one of the greatest friends of the League, and it was disavowed 
by the priests, and in reality fell flat. A week later, Forster, on 
his own responsibility, declared the Land League an unlawful 
association, the meetings of which would be forcibly suppressed. 
The same day the Land Courts were first opened and were 
thronged with tenants seeking a judicial rent. For the moment 
the popular movement was submerged. Forster was triumphant, 
and Parnell was impotent behind prison bars. 5 

Just at this date a noted figure passed away in the person 
of John MacHale, Archbishop of Tuam. He died in November, 
being then ninety years old. As a public man he had partly 
outlived his fame, and his condemnation of the Land League 
in its earlier stages was a shock to many. In his old age he 
was given as his coadjutor a prelate whom he disliked, and 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 305-6. 2 Annual Register, p. 213 ; Reid, ii. 352. 

3 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 308-13. 4 Reid, ii. 355-6. 5 Ibid. 357-9. 



nil. LAND LEA I 

< intmenl ha publii i> pi te ited, and tfa 
things embittered h 

Had he lived • fen monthi longei h<- would have Men 

a . inn controlled Foi fcer, given ;i 
hand, a olute as tin- Cxai of Russia, Police, 

im. trates, Ian officer! were at h»^ command And 

he was not sparing in the use of his power. He filled tin* jails. 
He tie meetings, raided League offices, confiscated 

i tguc property, prohibited the tale and circulation of the 
l i i; in, United Ireland* Six pecial magistrates with 

ordinary po wer s were each given a district, and each with 
authority to do just what he pleased They a r re s ted, they 

prosecuted, they imprisoned, aided the evictor, batoned and 
bludgeoned the people, and a County Inspector issued a circular 
to the police authorizing them to shoot at sight any one whom 
they suspected of an intention to commit murder. 1 And yet 
Ireland was not pacified. In place of the suppressed Land 
League a Ladies' Land League was formed. It was attacked 
by Cardinal M'Cabe, Archbishop of Dublin, but vigorously 
defended by Dr. Croke. These ladies carried on the work of 
their imprisoned brothers, and in most cases were indeed far 
more violent of speech. A few were imprisoned, but even Mr. 
Forster shrank from the wholesale imprisonment of women, and 
the Ladies' Land League continued their work. United Ireland 
was circulated in spite of magistrates aud police. Men 
imprisoned had their crops saved by friendly neighbours, and 
were elected to representative positions by popular votes. 
And Mr. Parnell and Mr. Dillon were voted the freedom of 
Dublin, Cork and other cities. Nor were outrages lessened, 
but increased. Parnell had predicted that his place would be 
taken by Captain Moonlight. Forster feared that secret 
societies would become active. Both expectations were realized. 
In the darkness of night bands of Moonlighters went abroad, 
fired into houses, terrorized landlords, bailiffs and grabbers, 
houghed their cattle, wounded or perhaps murdered themselves. 
In November Forster thought that the best thing for Ireland 

1 T. P. O'Connor, p. 246. 



I 01 i ■ « ION in mi LAN D 

and himself would l> ,% hi. replacement by tome one "not tai 
by the Coercion brush," and ai the old year went ou( hii mod 
wish w.i . that the new year mi .lit be a le i bad year than I 
last 1 He had, indeed! no reason to be anguine, For in I 
tin- number of agrarian outrages w.i. the highest since l8j 
in the first quarter of [ 88 ] there was one murder ; in the fii I 
quarter of 1882 then- were Bix ; and for March 1 the 

number of agrarian outrages was greater than for the preceding 
month of October, when the Land League was luppressed. 
Lord Cowper sorrowfully admitted that the police had led the 
Government astray, and that when they said they knew the 
planners of outrages they had been mistaken.' 

One last effort Forster made to retrieve his already damaged 
reputation, and in March 1S82 he went through the disturbed 
districts of Limerick, Clare and Gal way ; and in such stormy 
centres as Tulla and Athenry appealed in person to the people. 
Let them cease to countenance outrages and the prison doors 
would be soon thrown open. But the people listened to him 
with impatience ; and while their trusted leaders were in prison 
and their liberties trampled under foot, they were not to be 
cajoled. 4 Mr. Gladstone made a personal appeal to Cardinal 
Newman, asking him to use his influence with the Pope so 
that pressure might be brought to bear on the Irish priests. 
The Premier evidently thought it useless to appeal to the Irish 
bishops. The spectacle was indeed a strange one to see the 
author of Vaticanism thus appealing for aid to the Pope. 
But Cardinal Newman replied somewhat coldly that while the 
Pope could do everything on a question of faith or morals, his 
intervention could do little on a purely political question. 
What, then, was to be done ? Forster's remedy was more drastic 
coercion, more prosecutions, more imprisonments, more military 
and police, more magistrates like Clifford Lloyd. 6 But it was 
quite plain that coercion had failed, and it was certainly not 
plain that more coercion would succeed. Besides, even England 

1 Reid's Forster, ii. 364-71, 380. 2 Annual Register, p. 1882. 

3 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 330. 4 Reid, ii. 390-406. 

5 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 302-3. 6 Reid, ii. 415-20. 



i 111 LAND LEAGU1 

d of Foi tei I i. 1 1 hiiici i respei I law and do 
not 111 n, which i-. the negation of ordinary law and, 

all, they did not like coercion which was a failure. 
Tin I on among the I iberali which always opposed < oercion 
! new adherent , ami In the Press and on platformi Porsto i 
iled from nil own side 1 1 » - was a sailed also by 
prominent I who condemned the continued Imprison- 

ment o( so many prominent men, and who expn ed their 
to outbid the Liberals <>n the Land question by 
voting foi pea ant proprietary. It seemed as if the Tories 
re to be the champions of freedom and the Liberals the 
( hampions of repression. 1 

Just then (in April; Parnell was liberated on parole to attend 
his nephew's funeral at Paris. Passing through London, he 
saw Mr. MacCarthy and Captain O'Shea, the latter a Whig 
Home Ruler; and through these he intimated to Mr. 
Gladstone and Mr. Chamberlain, that if the arrears question 
was settled by Government he and his friends would withdraw 
the No-rent Manifesto, and gradually slow down the agitation. 
The offer was eagerly accepted. Gladstone and Chamberlain, 
in opposition to Forster, obtained the support of the Cabinet ; 
Parnell, Dillon, O'Kelly and Davitt were liberated ; and Forster 
and Cowper resigned, and were replaced by Lord Spencer and 
Lord Frederick Cavendish. This was the result of what came 
to be called the Kilmainham Treaty. 2 The transformation was 
indeed complete. Coercion was in the dust, the prisoners free, 
the harassed tenant to be relieved from the burden of arrears, 
while the whole nation burst into a shout of joy. Nor was 
there any suspicion that the cloudless sky was so soon to be 
darkened by the wicked work of the assassin. 

1 Reid, ii. 383-5 ; O'Brien's Parnell, i. 332-4. 
'-' Reid, ii. 425-54 ; O'Brien's Parnell, i. 336-49. 



CHAPTER XIII 

The Cotrcionist Rigimt 

Many Fenians like Davitt joined the Land League when it 
was formed. Many Others refused to do so, having no faith in 

constitutional agitation. These were not necessarily in favour 
of violence or outrage, and only hoped for an opportunity to 
join in some open war against England. A third class were 
those with objects, half agrarian, half national, who believed 
that any weapon might be used in fighting the Government or 
the landlords. In secret conspiracy, in violence, in murder if 
necessary, they put their faith. In the country districts they 
swelled the ranks of the Moonlighters. In Dublin there was a 
special Secret Society called the Invincibles. Of national, or 
even agrarian, objects they appear to have had no definite idea. 
Their ambition was " to make history " by murdering those 
who tyrannized over Ireland, and of these Forster, the Chief 
Secretary, and Mr. Burke, the Under Secretary, were the chief. 
The latter was an old official with landlord proclivities, a 
strong man who ruled Forster as well as Ireland. But the 
plans of the Invincibles often miscarried, and so frequent and 
so marvellous were the escapes of Forster that it seemed as if 
Providence itself had intervened on his behalf. 1 

Mr. Burke was less fortunate. On the 6th of May the 
new Viceroy, Lord Spencer, and the new Chief Secretary, Lord 
Frederick Cavendish, entered Dublin in state ; and when the 
State ceremonies were over and evening had come, both, as well 
as Mr. Burke, made their way to the Phoenix Park. Lord 
Cavendish was specially unfortunate. Had he accepted Lord 
Spencer's invitation to drive with him, he would have escaped 

1 Reid, ii. 466-9. 
299 



i in I IERCI0NI81 i-i .ii 

•in which hint Had Lord Spcncci no! tal 

tn in. i, ii. ii route t" th<- Park, he would have passed where, the 

^ui. ■ k place, and have prevented it- Finally, 

/endish not been with Burke, no harm would have 

ii him ; for, when the whole ghastly tale was unfolded, it 

app that it- was Burke tin* Ins wanted, and 1 1 1 ii t the) 

did not even know who ( avendish wa At n in the 

; it of the Viceregal Lodge, in the full light of 

, both Burke and ( avendish were id upon and cut to 

a ith lenive 

Mi. Davitt has vividly described what followed. On the 

6th of Ma} Parnell, Dillon and O'Kelly, M.P.'s, went from 
London to Portland Prison, and Davitt, once more free, 
returned with them to London. He noted that Parnell was 
Specially jubilant. Forster was beaten and disgraced. Glad- 
stone had abandoned ( oercion, and was to legislate on the 
An question; even the Tories had declared for land 

purchase. "We are on the eve," he said, "of something like 
Home Rule." lb- was specially pleased with Lord Frederick 
Cavendish, "one of the most modest men in the House, and a 
thorough supporter of the new policy." Just as the reunited 
friends were spending a pleasant evening in the Westminster 
Palace Hotel, a telegram was handed in announcing that the 
Chief Secretary and Under Secretary had been murdered in 
the Phcenix Park, and that the assassins had escaped. Stunned 
by the blow, Parnell wished to retire from public life ; there 
was no use, he thought, asking the country to make such 
sacrifices as it had been making if assassins were thus to undo 
all that had been done. He called on Sir Charles Dilke, who 
noted that he was " pale, careworn, altogether unstrung." 
Parnell proposed to Gladstone to retire from public life alto- 
gether ; but Gladstone disapproved, thinking that if Parnell 
went, no restraining influence would remain in Ireland, and no 
repressive act would avail to put down outrages. 2 

1 Annual Register, p. 1882 ; O'Brien's Parnell, i. 353-5. 

2 Davitt, pp. 355-9 ; Morley's Glads/one, ii. 307-10 ; O'Brien's Parnell, 

i - " -> % ' 



I in. mm \i\ PARI DEB ' 

\ manifesto was then issued by Pamell, Davitl and Dillon 
deploring the murdei as the worst thai had stained the ann 
of Freland for fifty years, and declaring that nothing could wi) 
away the stain I >nt bringing the a a Ins to ju tice. All 01 
Ireland, and among the Irish abroad, the same feelinj 
shown. There was not so much sympathy with Burke, o long 
the enemy oi Irish popular movements; but shame was I 
th.it a kind-hearted English gentleman, who had the 

messenger <>i" peace, should be thus wantonly and wickedly 

Struck down. 

In England there was no serious effort made to conn 
Pamell or the Land League with the murders. And if 
Gladstone had had his way the milder and wiser policy of recon- 
ciliation and peace would have been continued. But it was im- 
possible in face of enraged public opinion in England. In some 
places Irishmen were assailed simply because they were Irish ; 
in many places they were dismissed from their employments. 
It was felt that a determined effort should be made to put 
down the Irish secret societies, and that until this was done 
neither England nor Ireland could be at peace. This was the 
state of things when the House of Commons met on the 8th of 
May. Only four days before Parnell was the victor of the hour. 
Gladstone, his assailant of October I 88 I , was now his friend 
and even champion ; Forster was discredited and disgraced, a 
failure in the eyes of the whole Empire. The latter was 
speaking when Parnell, fresh from Kilmainham, entered the 
House and was received by his followers with rapturous cheers. 
Bitterly Forster assailed him and the Government which had 
entered into any arrangement with him. Going back to the 
days of Henry VII., he likened Parnell to the great Earl of 
Kildare whom all Ireland could not rule, and who in consequence 
was charged to rule Ireland by the King. "In like manner if 
all England cannot govern the hon. member for Cork, let us 
acknowledge that he is the greatest power in Ireland to- 
day." l It was the hour of Parnell's triumph and of Forster's 
defeat. 

1 Hansard, eclxix. 



nil i ION! i i i t.lMi 

The Phoenix Park murdci effected ■ disastrous chanj 

n the > s th oi May Parnell appeared in the Home of 

. ::i ind depressed. With unwonted feeling 

lamented the murdci the Government not to 

in tum t rciort But the Government was in reality 

unabl ■ the tide ol English There was a howl 

• laws, and on the iitli oi May Sir William 

Harcourt introduced the I rimes Bill, the most drastic ( oercion 

Bill brought into Parliament for hall a century. 1 For murder, 

ison, attacking dwelling hou e , crimes oi aggravated violence, 

trial by jury was to give way to trial by a Commission of 

Judj In proclaimed districts the police might make 

ancillary visits either by night or day, and arrest those out 

alter dark. Newspapers could be seized, meetings proclaimed 
and dispersed. The summary jurisdiction of magistrates was 
enormously increased. Finally, Courts of Secret Inquiry could 
be set up, recalling the Star-Chamber Courts of Charles I. The 
Act was to last for three years." Hampered by the state of 
public opinion in Parliament aNd outside, the Irish members 
had no chaNce of defeating the measure, yet they fought it 
with vigour and persisteNce. But when the whole party were 
suspended, some of them even being absent at the time, further 
resistance was seeN to be useless. They withdrew, protesting 
agaiNst their treatment, and throwing upon the GovcrnmeNt 
the whole respoNsibility for a " Bill which has beeN urged 
through the House by a course of violence and subterfuge, and 
which, when passed into law, will be devoid of moral force, and 
will be no constitutional Act of ParliameNt" The Crimes Bill 
rapidly passed through its remaining stages, and soon received 
the Royal AsseNt. 3 

At the same time the Government introduced an Arrears 
Bill which also passed into law. It applied only to tenants 
under ^30, and to those who could satisfy a legal tribunal that 
they were unable to pay all the arrears of rent they owed. In 
such cases, if they paid the rent for 1881 and one year of the 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 358-9. 2 Annual Register, p. 65. 

3 Ibid. 78-88, 94-1 10. 



ill! N tTIONAL i.i A< .' i 303 

arrears due, the State, out ol the Church Surplus Fund, paid 
anothci year <>i the .me 11 ., unci the remainder wai wiped out 
Thus did the Government cany out it-, .ideofthe Kilmainham 
Treaty. Mr, Parnell on his side suppressed the Ladies' Land 
League by refusing to give additional funds. II« - refu ed to 
countenance Davitt's scheme of land nationalization. And, in 
opposition to Dillon, he expressed his determination to a slow 
down tin- agitation." Tired of violence, he wanted the country to 
settle down to a moderate and purely constitutional movement. 

Hut the militant spirits anion;.; the popular leaders wanted 
to resist the evictors and the Crimes Act by a militant associa- 
tion siuh as the Land League, and under pressure from th< 
Pamell's hands were forced. A National Conference was then 
held in Dublin on the 17th of October, and the Irish National 
League was formed. The chief planks in its programme were 
Home Rule, peasant proprietary, local self-government, the 
extension of the franchise, the encouragement of Irish labour 
and industrial interests. Modelled on the Land League, the 
National League had Mr. Parnell as its President, had its 
central committee and central offices in Dublin, and branches 
throughout the land. And in turn it extended to England and 
America, and even to Australia. The League had also its 
official press organ — United Ireland — edited by one of the 
ablest of journalists, Mr. William O'Brien. 2 

Meanwhile, in addition to the Phoenix Park murders, many 
other murders have to be recorded for the year 1882. Early 
in the year the Huddys, Lord Ardilaun's bailiffs, were murdered, 
and their bodies thrown into Lough Mask, and an informer 
named Bailey was murdered in the streets of Dublin. In 
April a Mr. Smyth of Westmeath was shot dead. In June 
Mr. Walter Burke and his military escort were shot dead in 
the county of Galway, and in the same county and month 
Lord Clanricarde's agent was also murdered ; nor was any one 
ever brought to justice for these crimes. 3 But the most 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, i. 364-6. 

2 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 368-79. 

3 Amntal Register, pp. 183-4, 192. 



i COERC1 »NIi i ii GIME 

' .ill t ; that oi the Joycei "i 

in ti a untiy on the 

id Ga Thia murdci took place in 

August Si: i of knowing .ill about the murder of the 

Huddyi and o( being likely to tell what they knew, the 

irhole family wer i band oi armed ;m<l 

■ men, and Joyce, his mother, v. n and daughter 

e cruelly murdered Another son was hit for dead, 

but as If by a miracle survived* 1 In November Ju< 

l awson waa at l in the streets of Dublin, i i a 

Field and some detectives, one of the detectives being 

kille For the whole year the number of murders was 

twenty -six, the total number of agrarian outiv of all 

kinds being higher than for the two preceding years taken 
together. 3 

With the new year came quieter times, and when Parlia- 
ment met in February, the Queen's Speech noted with pleasure 
that there was an improvement in the social condition of 
Ireland, that agrarian crimes had diminished, and that the laws 
had been everywhere upheld. 4 The Chief Secretary at that 
date was Mr. George Trevelyan, but the real ruler of Ireland 
was Lord Spencer, who, unlike Mr. Trevelyan, had a seat in the 
Cabinet. He was a strong man, of great courage and resolu- 
tion, and under his directions the Crimes Act was rigorously 
enforced. Planners of outrages were perseveringly tracked 
and severely punished, meetings were proclaimed, newspapers 
suppressed, police and magistrates urged on to do their duty. 
And as if the Crimes Act were not enough, an old statute of 
Edward III. was dug up from mediaeval times. Under its 
provisions Mr. Davitt and Mr. Healy were prosecuted for 
speeches they made. They might have escaped imprisonment 
had they given bail ; but they refused, and were sentenced to 
six months' imprisonment. Mr. Biggar was also prosecuted for 
having attacked Lord Spencer in one of his speeches, but 
the prosecution was dropped. And a prosecution of William 

1 Annual Register, p. 194. 2 Ibid. 197. 

3 O'Brien's Fame//, i. 373. 4 Annua/ Register, pp. 13-14. 



PARNELL \m» i OF TEH 

O'Brien foi some seditious writing In United Inland only 

resulted in .1 di .1 i « -< -i nci it oi the jury ' 

An attempt was also made to damage Mr. ParnelL In 
February the Phoenix Park murderers were put '>i> trial 
Million of men strained their ears to listen to the evidence, 
which was indeed startling enough, especially when the most 
prominent of the Invincible*, Mr, Carey, turned informer. 
a result y)( his evidence five men were hanged, two entenced 
to penal servitude foi life, and several others to varioui periods 
of imprisonment Carey himself was pardoned, but a fi 
months later was .shot dead by an Invincible agent on board <l 

Steamer bound lor Capetown. "One result of the trials," says 
the Annual Rigister % "was to fully justify the Government in 
any action which had resulted in the substitution of a new 
Chief Secretary for Mr. Forster. . . . It reads like the grimmest 
of satires upon his term of office to know that at a time when 
the jails were choking with the number of Mr. Forster's 
suspects ; when according to his own belief he had every 
dangerous man in the island under lock and key, his own life 
was in incessant danger at the hands of men of whose existence 
he was guilelessly unaware." 2 

All this, no doubt, only deepened Mr. Forster's animosity 
towards Parnell and towards Ireland, and when it appeared 
from the evidence that Carey had been on friendly terms with 
some Irish members, and that the assassins' knives had been 
for a short time deposited at the National League Office in 
London, the ex-Chief Secretary turned upon Mr. Parnell in the 
House of Commons. He did not indeed charge him with 
encouraging murder, but he did charge him with not having 
condemned it, or used his influence to put murder down. And 
he charged generally that crime had dogged the footsteps of 
the League. In a crowded House, crowded in every part, with 
the Prince of Wales and Cardinal Manning in the galleries, 
Mr. Parnell rose to reply. But he disdained to be judged by 
the House of Commons or by English public opinion. He was 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 1-2 ; Annual Register, pp. 189-92. 

2 P. 197. 
Vol. Ill 90 



nil < II 

ponsible only t«» the Irish people, ^^ 1 1 « > alone had a right to 

judge him. I he treated him with * orn a i dis- 

d politician who had forfeited all « laim to sit in judgment 

rious public man. I ie uggested, indeed, 

that while the ( rimes Ad waa being enforced Fortter ought 

t«» be in Ireland to aid Lord Spencer in tending men to the 

I -us, in h<>l : i inquiries, m wringing taxes from a 

pea antry to pay for outrages which they had not 

omitted and with which they did not sympathize. 1 

In 1 : r] md this reply was i onsidered unsatisfactory, but in 

l land it only augmented Mi. Pamelas power. In January 

Mr, Brien was returned Ml*, for Mallow, his opponent being 

Mr. Nash, the new Solicitor-* ,, n<i <d, whom he defeated by 
nearly two to one. In July Mr. Healy, lately imprisoned, was 
returned triumphantly for the count)- of Monaghan, hitherto a 
Whig stronghold. And a series of successful Nationalist 
were then held throughout Ulster in spite of Orange 
threats and Orange revolvers." Finally, Mr. Parnell got a 
National testimonial. It had been set on foot to pay off a 
mortgage of £13,000 on his property. An Irish Whig 
Catholic M.I\, Mr. Errington, then at Rome with credentials 
from the British Foreign Office, did what damage he could 
against Parnell and his friends, with the result that a Papal 
Rescript was issued condemning the Parnell testimonial. The 
Pope had little sympathy with Irish popular movements and 
was anxious to be friendly with England, which, after all, was 
eminently fair to Catholics throughout the world. Hence the 
Rescript. It did not, however, injure but rather served the 
Parnell testimonial, and when the lists closed in the end of 
1883, the large sum of £37,000 had been subscribed. 3 

All that year and during the next Mr. Parnell's position 
was one of difficulty. Lord Spencer's rigorous enforcement of 
Coercion rendered it hazardous to hold meetings or make 
strong speeches. Mr. Parnell left the fight in Ireland to his 
lieutenants, notably to Mr. O'Brien, who, with a courage and 
determination equal to Lord Spencer's own, struck back at the 
1 Annual Register, pp. 38-48. 2 Ibid. 203-4,206-7. 3 Ibid, 207-8. 



PARK] - i. ■ I'M in 01 in • | >' t 

force - of ( loen Ion. Every illegality committed, ever) encroach 
m, mi: (.11 popular i [ghtfl wra • mercile itly i d in Ut 

/>.////,/, .v\u\ in iSS.j Mi O'Hi itm was able to have ■cvra! 

prominent officials convicted of hideous and uiiiiatiu.il crimi 
with consequent loss <>t prestige to the I nment to which 
they belonged, in America the National League wrai largely 
in the hands of revolutionists, and while Parnell himseli w 
not a member of the Clan-na-Gael, the fact that he wi el- 

ated with them told against him in England Lastly, new and 
drastic rules of Parliamentary procedure adopted in the autumn 
session of [882 seriously hampered his power \u Parliament, 
for these rnhvs applied to the whole field of Parliamentary 
anion, and while materially augmenting the powers of the 

Speaker and Chairman of Committee, correspondingly curtailed 
the rights of private members and of minorities. 1 

Vet it was certain that as time passed Mr. Parnell's power 
and influence were increasing, and that the Liberal Coercionist 
Government was growing weaker. The meetings held in 
Ulster, following the Monaghan election, did something to 
weaken the power of landlord ascendancy and Orange bigotry, 
and were a suitable and useful preparation for the Nationalist 
victories subsequently won. 2 The Irish leader had indeed 
his troubles with the American extremists, and he was specially- 
wroth with those who organized dynamite outrages in England. 
Nevertheless he kept the extremists on his side, because he had 
no regard for English opinion, and refused, at the bidding of 
Englishmen, to condemn those who preferred to love Ireland, 
no matter how mischievous might be their policy or how cruel 
or criminal their methods. 3 The priests he kept with him 
because, in spite of the fact that revolutionists were aiding him, 
the priests knew that he was no revolutionist himself but a con- 
stitutional leader. And they liked him all the better because 
English intrigue was so busy against him in Rome, English 
intrigue being also busy against themselves. 4 There were a 

1 Annual Register, 1882, pp. 26-29, 36-40. 
- O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 21-22. 
3 Annual Register, 1885, PP- 17-18 4 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 23-27. 



1 111 COERCIONI81 r.n.nn 

lUh Liberals too, men Like Mr, Cowen and Mr. 

Labou srho helped ParnelL They hated Coercion, and 

at what was being done in [reland under a 

Liberal Government, and in their di gust they cast aside party 

oi popular rights, and frequently voted 
with the Parnellit 

The Government policy in Egypt was still more disastrous 
to the Liberals. The defeats of Hicks Pasha and Genera] Baker 

binary I 884), and the vacillation and indecision which led 
to the appointment, and finally to the sacrifice of General 

Gordon, supplied the Tories with a favourite and popular 

subject of attack. In these attacks both Parnellites and Tories 
fought side by side, their common object being to defeat the 
Liberal Government. And in 1884 they nearly succeeded. 
The vote of censure in February was only defeated by a 
majority of 19 in a House of more than 600 members; and 
three months later the Government majority was but 28, when 
a further vote of censure was moved. 1 

With one small section of the Tories the relations of the 
Parnellites were especially cordial. This was the Fourth Party, 
consisting of only four members — Lord R. Churchill, Mr. A. J. 
Balfour, Mr. Gorst and Sir H. Wolff — all men of first-class 
ability. They had no separate party organization and no 
elected leader, though Lord R. Churchill generally obtained 
recognition as such. He was one of the most fascinating 
figures in English public life — bold, outspoken, fearless ; a hater 
of shams ; an aristocrat with popular sympathies ; a Tory by 
family ties and traditions, but much more of a Liberal than 
many of the Liberals themselves. He called himself a Tory 
Democrat. He disapproved of the old Tory programme 
consisting of Coercion for Ireland and foreign war ; despised 
the accepted Tory leaders, whom he irreverently called the 
" old gang," and wanted men who would bring themselves in 
touch with popular needs and compete with their Liberal 
opponents for popular support. 2 

1 Annual Register, 1884, pp. 33-44, 65-70. 
2 ChurchilFs Life, i. 234-5, 296-301. 



LORD R \M»oi.rii ( HUR( HI1 L 

Disliking Coercion, he supported Forster's Coercion BUI "I 
1881 "with reluctance and disgust," and h<- frequently Mid 
vigorously attacked what he considered Forster's abu 1 pi 
Coercion. 1 The favoui ii<- tlms attained in the «>'<•' (, f the 
ParnelUtes was further augmented by his supporting the demand 
in 1884 of an inquiry into the case oi 1 1 1< - Maamtrasna 
murderers* One of the four men executed was declared to be 
innocent by the remaining three, and he vehemently de< lansd hi 
own innocence on the scaffold. For arraigning the Government 

for its conduct in the matter, Mr. O'Brien had been prosecuted 
In January 1SS3. Hut the voice of protest and complaint H 
only silenced for a time, and in the summer of 18^4 one of 
the informers, a man named Casey, told the Archbishop of 
Tuam, Dr. MacKvilly, that Myles Joyce was innocent, and that 
his own evidence accusing Joyce had been wrung from him 
under a threat to have his life sacrificed if he did not swear 
away the life of poor Joyce. Dr. MacEvilly, who then 
demanded an inquiry, had special claims on the Government. 
The son of a farmer, he had no popular sympathies, and had 
opposed the Land League and National League, and disliked 
priests who were members of either organization. With less 
culture than Dr. Troy, he was an equally strong supporter of 
the Government, and had got offices for some of his friends. 
And yet Lord Spencer would not accede to his request and 
have the Maamtrasna case reopened. When it was brought 
in the autumn session before Parliament, Lord R. Churchill 
supported the Parnellites and voted with them in the 
minority. 2 

He also supported them when the Franchise Bill was 
introduced establishing household suffrage throughout the 
United Kingdom. Some of the less advanced of the Liberals 
would have been glad to leave Ireland out. But Mr. Gladstone 
would not create a fresh Irish grievance, and Mr. Trevelyan, 
the Chief Secretary, would instantly resign office if the Bill 
were not extended to Ireland. The great majority of the 
Tories disliked the measure for any portion of the United 
1 ChunhilVs Life, i. 201, 209. 2 Annual Register, pp. 236-7. 



310 mi i i u ION IS! 11 GIN 

Kingdom, and at first it was thrown oufl In the Houseof Lords, 
I it only : when the Liberal! consented to Introduce 

at once ■ Redistribution oi Seats BilL With no re pert i<»i 
party traditions 01 party dis< ipline, Lord k. ( hurchill supported 
the Franchise Bill, even when unaccompanied by a Redistribu- 
tion Hill, lli- supported it-, second reading in opposition to 
th<- nominal Tory leader, Sir Stafford Northcote. He opposed 
Mr Broderick's amendment excepting Ireland. And when Mr. 

W 11 Smith, another 'lory M.P., a successful shopkeeper who 
luul acquired wealth by selling books, sneered at Irish poverty 
and proposed the giving of votes to Irish mud-cabins, Lord k. 
Churchill vigorously assailed him, and very effectually disposed 
of the mud-cabin argument. 1 

This was the state of things early in 1885. The Franchise 
Hill was then law, and household suffrage had been extended to 
Ireland. The Redistribution Hill had also become law, leaving, 
in spite of many protests from English members, the number 
of Irish seats undiminished. The Crimes Act would expire in 
August, and Irish members wanted to know if it was to be 
renewed. On the Franchise and Redistribution Bills they had 
acted with the Liberals. Hut if the Crimes Act was to be renewed, 
all the indications were that Lord Randolph Churchill and Mr. 
Parnell would unite their strength with the other enemies of 
the Government and perhaps hurl Mr. Gladstone from power. 

Lord R. Churchill's influence was then considerable. He 
commanded the attention and attracted the support of the 
masses as no other Tory did ; and his popularity in the country 
had its effect in Parliament. The older and more staid of the 
party regarded him with suspicion and distrust ; but the more 
militant and aggressive, the young men who looked to the 
future with confidence, men with initiative and ambition were 
ready to follow where he led. And in any arrangements for 
the future which the Tory leaders might make, these young 
men and their brilliant leader could not be ignored. Mr. 
Parnell on his side, in his own party and in his own country, 
was supreme. No one dared oppose his nominee at elections ; 
1 Annual Register, p. 125 ; ChtirchiWs Life, i. 344-6. 



I \ l : \ I I , PA RT> 

.mil with the exten lion ol the fran< hi le II <n known that 

his itrength In Pai liament would be enormously increased ( M 
late \c.u-. iii. attendance in the Hou e ol I ommons had been 
Irregular and intermittent Bu! the Irish Party work I 
nevertheless been well <i<>n<\ i"i tin- party numbered •un- 
its members men who would have made their mail, in .my 
deliberative assembly ; men in many far abler than 

\li Parnell himself. In [885 Mr. Sexfc .it pon 

matured. II'" was then recoi nized as the greatest orator in 
Parliament after Mr. Gladstone; a ready and powerful debal 
an expert in finance -mil figures, with unlimited capacity for 
Parliamentary work. The reputation earned by Mr, rlealy on 

the Land Act of I SSi had since been maintained and increased, 
lie had been called to the Bar and had already acquired a 
large practice. Hut he managed somehow to attend on all 
important occasions in Parliament, and always intervened with 
advantage in debate. Me had enormous capacity for work, 
mastered details with extraordinary swiftness, and in the 
usually dull routine work of drafting clauses and amending 
Hills he never tired. In debate he seized at once on the weak 
points in his opponent's case ; his readiness of reply was 
remarkable ; and the antagonist who provoked him received 
a scathing chastisement not easily forgotten. Mr. Arthur 
O'Connor was cool, clear, unimpassioned, always master of his 
subject, a most dangerous man to attack. Mr. T. P. O'Connor 
was more brilliant, effective as a writer as well as a speaker, 
indeed one of the readiest and most effective speakers in 
Parliament. Mr. William O'Brien shone brightest as a 
militant and fearless journalist ; but he had the gift of oratory 
greater perhaps than any of his colleagues, and on the platform 
could sway an Irish crowd as he willed. There were others in 
the Irish ranks less generously endowed than these, yet capable 
of doing useful work either in Parliament or outside it. All 
were eager as Mr. Parnell was to make an end of the Liberal 
Government. Nor was anything required but a suitable 
opportunity to have Irish and Tory coalesce. 1 

1 Parnell Movement. 



\u THE CO] (1ST REGIM1 

opportunity ©on came rhe reel travagance 

yptian Khedive had bo involved Egypt in financial 

tliti that bei foreign creditor! had been compelled to 

• n.ii an. in . England, being the mo ' 

rned, undertooli to 01 the Egyptian army, 

uperintend the administration ol justice, to watch over the 

and spending of the taxi Hut Mr. Gladstone's 

nment had no desire thai England .should remain in 

permanent occupation «>i the country, still less to extend or 

in. lint. nn Egyptian influence in the Soudan. 1 heir anxiety 

ua. to restore order and tranquillity to Egypt, and have that 

Country confine its ei I I its own territory ; and for this 

pur] General Gordon was despatched in January 1884 to 

Khartoum. His instructions when leaving England were to 
take back to Egypt the Egyptian garrisons at Khartoum and 
in other Soudanese towns, leaving the Soudan to work out its 
own salvation as best it could. Urgency was necessary, for 
the Mahdi, claiming to have a religious mission, had placed 
himself at the head of the whole strength of Moslem fanaticism, 
and Khartoum was seriously threatened by him. Gordon was 
an able man, but a bad selection for such a mission. He was 
a man of imagination, of impulse, of religious zeal, a crusader 
better suited for the days of Richard Cceur de Lion than for 
the nineteenth century. Disobeying his orders, he remained 
at Khartoum instead of evacuating it ; prepared to u smash 
the Mahdi " instead of leaving the Soudan to its fate ; waited 
at Khartoum till the waves of Moslem fury were already 
beating against its walls, and then he could only appeal to 
England for relief. A relieving expedition was sent, tardily 
and with reluctance indeed, but when Khartoum was sighted it 
was already in the Mahdi's hands, and Gordon was slain. 1 

The Tories were not slow to take advantage of this 
calamity. Gordon, half saint, half mystic, had become a 
national hero. His absolute unselfishness, his splendid courage, 
his contempt of danger which would have appalled other men, 
his confidence in God and ceaseless walking in the presence of 
1 Life of G?'a?ivitle, ii. 381-402. 



I Ml II \\|» |'\|-M I.I.I I I I I I 

the Unseen, had captivated the popular imagination; and 
when it was fniiml t li.it k ii.ui. .tun ii.i.i fallen and that Gordon 
had perished, the tempest ol the peopl as turned 

against the Government Their irresolution, their change ol 
purpose, theii tardiness of preparation, their want ol vigour 
were .ill tiercel)' and passionately condemned Even the 
Queen did not hesitate to criticize and to condemn ; and when 
m February) the Tories proposed a vote oi censure, it nras 
defeated only by 14 vote-. The ParneHites voted with th<- 
Tories ; they cared nothing for Egypt and nothing for the 
Soudan. But Ireland was still under the Crimes Act, and it 

Was said that the Crimes Act was about to he renewed. ( )n 

the other hand, Lord EL Churchill had assured Mr. Parnell that 

the Tories would have nothing to do with Coercion, and if they 
had lie would oppose them. For this reason both Tories and 
ParneHites went into the lobby against the Government. 1 
Three months later they again assailed the Ministry on the 
Consolidated Fund Bill, but again they were defeated, this 
time by a majority of 30 votes. 2 

In June the attack was renewed, and on this occasion — it 
was the 8th of June — the combination of Tories and ParneHites 
brought down their great opponent, Mr. Gladstone. The 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Childers, in his budget for 
the year had increased the duty on spirits and beer. From 
the Tory side, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach proposed an amend- 
ment, which was a direct negative, and Mr. Gladstone declared 
that by the vote to be given the Government would stand or 
fall. In the previous month Lord Carlingford, on the part of 
the Ministry, stated in the House of Lords that it was proposed 
to renew the Crimes Act. 3 This finally determined the 
ParneHites to throw in their lot with the Tories. The conse- 
quence was that on the amendment of Sir Michael Hicks- 
Beach, Mr. Parnell and all his followers went into the Tory 
lobby, and the Liberals were beaten by 1 2 votes, 264 being in 
the majority and 252 on the other side. 4 There was the 

1 Annual Registt?; pp. 29-36. 2 Hansard, ccxeviii. 274. 

3 Ibid. 568. " 4 Ibid. 1421-1511. 



rHE CO! IIST REG] 

wildest jubilation among th<- victi I ord R. ( hurchill was 

illy dem< I, jinn] on 'i, waved his 

red wildly like ■ ichoolboy at play. Mi Gladstone 

at • ind aftei a short Interval Lord Salisbury 

.;; Prime Minister ; Lord R. ( hurchill, J u \ for [ndia; 

and Michael Hi( ch, Chancellor ol the I icchequei 

and 1 oi the II' i I ommon Thus fell the Liberal 

Government, which had employed F< ined Lord 

Spencer, which had suppressed fi ech in Ireland, imprisoned 

without trial, and sent not a few innocent Irishmen to the 

dungeon and to tl arTold. And the Irish members of 

Parliament were specially pleased that it was their votes which 

had. n the ( I ivernment ath-blow. 



CHAPTER XIV 

Gladstone and Home Rule 

THE substitution of a Tory for a Liberal Government suited 
Mr. Parnell well. Lord Randolph Churchill was his friend 
and the enemy of Coercion, and it soon appeared that the Irish 
policy of the young Lord had the approval of his colleagues. 
In the House of Lords the Viceroy, Lord Carnarvon, defined, 
with the authority of the Premier, the attitude of the Govern- 
ment towards Ireland. Deprecating Coercion except to meet 
exceptional agrarian crime, he noted that there was no such 
exceptional crime then. There was therefore no need to renew 
the Crimes Act even in part. He preferred to trust the Irish 
people, and believed that his trust in them would not be 
misplaced. 1 When he went to Ireland he walked the streets 
of Dublin unaccompanied by a single policeman, in striking 
contrast to Lord Spencer, who never went abroad without a 
strong armed escort. The Government also granted an inquiry 
into the case of those convicted for the Maamtrasna murders. 2 
It was nothing more than a fresh review of the evidence of the 
Lord-Lieutenant, and resulted in an approval of the verdict 
given by the jury. But even this inquiry gave satisfaction in 
Ireland, and was fiercely assailed in the House of Commons by 
the late Liberal Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt. Lord 
Randolph Churchill replied to him in language of scathing 
severity. He contrasted the calm tone and temper shown by 
Mr. Parnell, who had demanded the inquiry, with the language 
of vehemence and passion used by the Liberal spokesman ; 
repudiated the notion that the Tory Government assumed 

1 Hansard, ccxeviii. 1658-62. 2 Ibid, cexcix. 1065-1150. 

315 



GLAD i« »\i. and H< 'Mi 11 i i 

responsibility f>u the blunder! ol 1 1 1 « - i 1 predeo 01 and 
lared that foi bJmseli i»< had no confidence In Lord Spencei 

ami no ■pproval i«'i hii lii^h administration 

The delighted Parnellitei received this speech with 

rnthusiaMn, and were well satisfied with L»>id Carnarvon. 
And tfu-n .iti taction was all the peatei because the 'lory 

/eminent were just then ei 1 In pay h .1 land Purchi 

\» t foi Ireland introduced Into the House of Lords by the 
Irish Lord Chancellor, Lord Ashbourne, it came to he called 
the- Ashbourne Act, and provided a sum of £ 5,000,000 for 
advances to tenants who wished to purchase their holdings. 
For the first time the whole of the purchase money was 

mted, to be paid back — interest and principal — at 4 per cent 
within a period of forty-nine years. 1 With the approval of 
Liberals and Tories, the Bill rapidly passed through its several 
Stages, and proved to be a real boon to Ireland, the pioneer of 
many other Land Purchase Acts. 

Shortly after its passage in the middle of August, the last 
session of the Parliament elected in 1880 came to an end. 
By an arrangement between the Liberal and Tory leaders, the 
dissolution was fixed for the following November. The Tory 
Government, indeed, was spoken of as a Government of care- 
takers, merely holding office till the result of the pending 
General Election was known. What that result might be 
largely depended on Mr. Parnell, and politicians of all shades 
watched him keenly. The Irish voters in Great Britain were 
organized, and in many cases could turn the scale between 
Liberal and Tory at the polls. They would be guided by 
Parnell, and there were certainly strong reasons why he should 
advise them to vote with the Tories. Under the influence of 
Lord Churchill they had dropped Coercion and passed a Land 
Purchase Act, and they might go much further under the 
same influence. But there was more than this. In the end of 
July, Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Parnell met in private and 
exchanged views about Home Rule. The controversy which 
subsequently arose disclosed some points of difference between 

1 Hansard, cexcix. 1040-49. 



PARNELL \m> LORD < \i\ \i:\< >\ 

the parties to the interview 11 to whit pa ted between then 
Hut there could be and mi no denial ol the fad that Lord 
Carnarvon sought an interview with Mr. In tin Mad arthy, to 
whom he declared that be wmm In favour of Home Rule for 
Ireland on Colonial lines, though he believed he would h 
some difficulty In getting the member of the Cabinet to s pee 
with him. It is of little importance that in his subsequent 
interview with Mr. Parnell, in an untenanted house in London, 
he made it clear that he spoke only for himself and \ 
entering into no treat\- or bargain. He did not and could not 
say that he was authorized by the Ministry to promise Home 

Rule : but he was the Irish Viceroy, and not likely to hold 

such an interview without some authority ; and in point of fact 
he did consult Lord Salisbury beforehand, and reported to him 
the result of the interview. Nor was there any material 
difference between Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Parnell on the 
main question of Home Rule. Both agreed that Ireland should 
have a central legislative body, " a Parliament in name and in 
fact," with full control over purely local matters, with power even 
to protect Irish industries against English and foreign competi- 
tion. 1 With Lord Carnarvon these were no novel convictions. 
He had filled the office of Colonial Secretary, and had been 
struck with the success of self-government in the Colonies — 
their contentment, their prosperity, their loyalty. Since 1874 
he had at intervals discussed Irish Home Rule with Sir Charles 
Gavan Duffy; and in February 1885 he had sent to the 
National Review an article of Duffy's appealing to the Tories 
to take up the Irish question and settle it. Under pressure 
from Duffy and of the Irish Under Secretary, Sir Robert 
Hamilton, a determined Home Ruler, Carnarvon's Home Rule 
convictions were strengthened, and after his interview with 
Parnell he urged his own views on the Cabinet. He failed to 
convince them. Not that they had any special dread of the 
danger of Home Rule to the Empire ; but they feared that 
taking it up might injure them at the polls. They would lose 
more in Great Britain than they would gain in Ireland. It 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 51-57. 



Gl TO H" ii R! i.i. 

i that Parnell i.ik w <>\ the refusal of the ( Cabinet ; 
he onl) I thai a o »ii\ in* ed 1 lome Rulei , 

I would probably carry in- colic with him If the Toi 

i i, and eapeciall) ii the)- were returned by 

From the Liberals he could hardly exp o much. In 
Jul), at a banquet given to Lord Spencer, Mr. John Bright 

h memhei . o( Parliament ai disloyal to 1 1 1 * - 

aii and hostile to Great Britain, and charged them with 
being in sympathy with criminali and murderei Th< speech 
ic«l !>)- the Libera] members presenti and was fully 
endorsed by Lord Hartington. It is true that the Radical 
lead At, Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke, had absented 

themselves from the Spencer Banquet, that both had been 
opponents of Coercion, and that Mr. Chamberlain had vigorously 
denounced Dublin Castle as an anachronism, and the condition 
of Ireland under a bureaucratic system of government as that 
of Poland under Russian or Venice under Austrian rule. But 
he would go no further than setting up representative County 
Government, supplemented by a central National Council. 
This Council was to be mainly elective and wholly executive, 
with power only to make by-laws, and at every turn was to be 
hampered, controlled, criticized by the British Parliament. 
When this scheme was brought before the Liberal Cabinet early 
in 1885 it was rejected, though it was supported by Gladstone, 
and would have then been accepted by Parnell. 2 The demands 
of the latter rose since his interview with Lord Carnarvon. 
He would no longer be satisfied with a mere National Council 
without legislative power. And for this reason he dis- 
countenanced a proposed public visit to Ireland of Chamberlain 
and Dilke in the autumn. 

As for Mr. Gladstone, he was vague. If he declared for 
Home Rule before the General Election he would certainly lose 
the support of Lord Hartington and the Whigs, and also 
perhaps of Mr. Chamberlain ; and great as his personal 
popularity in the country was, such a defection would be 

1 Hansard, ccc. 250-305. 2 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 135-7. 



PARNELL \M» I in LIB! RA1 

disastrous. On the othei hand, he thought there \ *nc 

id understanding between the Tori i and Parnellites, and 
he disliked having the Tories more liberal than the Lib i 
and wished to compete with them for Irish support 

This was the state of things when Parnell, on the 24th ol 
August, in a speech at Dublin, opened the electoral campaij 

No man COUld Speak plainer when he wi • li<- 1, and he Wished 

to make it clear both to dories and Liberals on what terms 
Irish votes could be obtained. The time had come, Ik 

when the Irish platform was to be reduced to B (in de plank, 

and that was an Irish Parliament with an Irish tive 

dependent on it. All other questions were subsidiary to this, 
indeed had better remain for settlement in an Irish I'arlia 

merit 1 

The Irish National Press applauded the speech ; the 
British Tress of all shades vigorously condemned it ; and Lord 
Partington, on the 29th of the same month, told Parnell that 
he had gone too far and that all England would unite to 
defeat " so foolish and mischievous a proposal." ~ Mr. 
Chamberlain (at Warrington, 8th September) was not less 
emphatic. " If these," he said, " arc the terms on which Mr. 
Parnell's support is to be obtained, I will not enter into the 
compact. ... If this claim were conceded, we might as well 
for ever abandon the hope of maintaining a United Kingdom, 
and we should establish within thirty miles of our shores a 
new foreign country, animated from outside with unfriendly 
intentions towards ourselves." Unlike Lord Hartington, how- 
ever, Mr. Chamberlain favoured giving to Ireland as generous 
a measure of self-government as he would give to England or 
Scotland. 3 Lord Randolph Churchill, unwilling to concede 
Home Rule, but equally unwilling to offend his Irish friends, 
said nothing definite. 4 For the same reason Lord Salisbury, 
at Newport, on the 7th of October, was studiously vague. He 
thought the first policy of a Tory Government with regard to 
Ireland "must undoubtedly be to maintain the integrity of the 

1 Annual Register, pp. 143-4. - Ibid. 146-7. 3 Ibid. 152. 

4 Ibid. 150-51. 



G LAD \ M < : R U LI 

Empii But he did not .iv he was opposed to Home Rule 

any il be did not Attack Mi Parnell foi the demands 

lu- ua. in , lu- defended the abandonment oi tin- Crln 

okc lightly "t boycotting ai "depending on the 

in.; humour of the population." ] Alone among prominent 

mei John Moiic-)- advocated Home Rule "as in Canada," 

. lit tin- time was come when Inland COUld no lonj 

<-d either by landlords i *i pi ie I 
Mr. Gladstone was slow to speak. il<- had, in fact, been 
unwell, and had taken a voyage to Norway for tin: benefit of 
his health.' Hut he had Ik en thinking about Ireland even in 

Norwegian waters; he disliked Lord Ilartington's attack on 
Parnell, while disapproving of Parnell's proposals; and he was 

convinced that the question of Home Rule had now come 
within the region of practical politics, and must at least be 
examined in the hope of finding some solution. In this frame 
of mind he issued on the I Gth of September a long manifesto to 
the electors. It covered much ground. " The Whigs," said 
Mr. Morley, u found it vague, the Radicals cautious, the Tories 
crafty, but everybody admitted that it tended to heal feuds." 4 
When he touched the Irish question he neither agreed with 
Parnell nor condemned him. " In my opinion," he said, " not 
now for the first time delivered, the limit is clear within which 
any desires of Ireland, constitutionally ascertained, may, and 
beyond which they cannot, receive the asrent of Parliament. 
To maintain the supremacy of the Crown, the unity of the 
Empire, and all the authority of Parliament necessary for the 
conservation of that unity, is the first duty of every represent- 
ative of the people. Subject to this governing principle, every 
grant to portions of the country of enlarged powers is, in my 
view, not a source of danger but a means of averting it, and 
is in the nature of a new guarantee for increased rohesion, 
happiness and strength." And on the question of the 
maintenance of the Union, he added : M I believe history and 
posterity will consign to disgrace the name and memory of 

1 Annual Register, p. 1 68. 2 Ibid. 154. 

3 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 457-8. 4 Ibid. 460. 



GLADST* 'M POSITK 

every man, be he who h< - may, and on whichei of the 

Channel he may dwell, that, having the powei to aid In •"> 
equitable settlement between Ireland and Great Britain, shall 
use thai power not to aid but t<» prevent 01 to retard it. it 
tin- dutv <>i working i<>i this end cannot l><- doubted, then I 

trust that, on the one hand, Ireland Will ivm«-ml >«t that ,lw is 

subject to the authority of reason and just it « , and cannot 
always plead the wrong ol other days in bai of submi sion to 
them; and that the two sister kingdoms, aware of their ovei 
whelming strength, will dismiss every (car except that o| 
doing wrong, and will make yet another effort to complete 

a reconciling work which has already done so much to redeem 

the pasty and which, when completed, will yet more redound 

to the honour of our legislation and our race." ' 

The conviction that Mr. Gladstone was nearing Home Rule 
was intensified when his special friend, Mr. Guilders, the cx- 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, declared on the 12th of October 
at Pontefract that lie would himself be willing to give Ireland 
I Ionic Rule. He would leave her to legislate for herself, with 
control of police and the judiciary, reserving Imperial rights 
over foreign policy, military organization, external trade, the 
Post Office, the currency, coinage, the National Debt and the 
Court of Ultimate Appeal. 2 Importance was attached to this 
speech because of Mr. Childers's personal relations with Mr. 
Gladstone, and in point of fact Mr. Gladstone had been 
consulted beforehand, and told his friend that he had a 
" decided sympathy with the general scope and spirit of your 
proposed declaration about Ireland." 3 In public he did not go 
so far. He was friendly, but vague, ready to grant Ireland the 
fullest measure of local government, but not ready to declare 
openly for Home Rule, still less to formulate any Home 
Rule scheme. Mr. Parnell was disappointed. He knew how 
far Lord Carnarvon would go, and wanted to see if Gladstone 
and the Liberals would go further. For he was quite prepared 
to throw his influence on the side which gave the largest 

1 Annual Register, pp. 157-8. 2 Ibid. 171. 

3 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 475-6. 
Vol. UI 91 



GL IDSTONJ AND HOME u I i 

But ( tone was not to be drawn, He had to 

party and Instead of formulating a Home 

e scheme, in- pleaded on the platform foi such a majority 

uld enable the Liberals to settle the Irish question 

iependent of the Irish memoes This was just what Mr. 

l'amcll was determined he should not have. Puither, he 

d himself that with the opposition of Lord Hartington, 

;, also of Mr. Chamberlain, the Liberal leader 

uoukl not be able to ; the lories. In this belief 

Mi. Pamell issued a manifesto advising the Irish voters in 
it Britain to support the Tories at the polls. 

rtainly the language of this manifesto lacked nothing in 
>uv. The Irish voters were asked to vote everywhere against 
u the men who coerced Ireland, deluded Egypt with blood, 
menaced religious liberty in the school, the freedom of speech 
in Parliament, and promised to the country generally a repetition 
of the crimes and follies of the last Liberal Administration. 
The specious demand for a majority against the Irish Party is 
an appeal for power to crush all Anti-Radical members in 
Parliament first ; then to propose to Ireland some scheme 
doomed to failure, because of its unsuitability to the wants of 
the Irish people ; and finally to force down a halting measure 
of self-government upon the Irish people, by the same methods 
of wholesale imprisonment by which durability was sought for 
the impracticable Land Act of 1881." 1 

The exciting contest on which so much depended was 
soon over. The Tories numbered just 249, the Liberals 335, 
the Home Rulers 86. Neither of the two great English 
parties was satisfied. The Tories hoped, by the aid of the 
Irish vote, to have such a number as would enable them to 
form a Government. The Liberals, having passed a great 
measure of enfranchisement, expected that the newly en- 
franchised would have flocked to their standards, and that 
a sweeping Liberal victory and the all but annihilation of 
the Tories would be the result. The Irish alone had done 
well. In Munster, Leinster and Connaught they had literally 

1 Annual Register, pp. 180-81. 



rm Gl m i- m i i-i I TIOW 

swept the board, rrinlty College continued to return Tori< 
hut Trinity College hid no representative capacity, and it. 
verdict carried no weight Everywhere else in Leinster the 
roriea went down. In several instances the Home Rulers 
had been returned unopposed, their opponents being afraid to 
provoke a contest Where contests had taken place the 

I Ionic Killers outnumbered their opponents by more than 

ten to one. In South Mayo the numbers were 4900 to 

75 ; in West Mayo 4790 to 1 }1 ; in East Kerry 3169 to 

30; in many other cases the disparity between Home Uuler. 

and Anti-Home Rulers was nearly as great. Nor was this 

all. Even in Ulster, hitherto the stronghold of landlord 
endancy and religious bigotry, the Home Rulers had a 
majority. Of its 35 members, 17 were pledged support- 
of Parncll ; Derry and West Belfast had all but been 
captured. Mr. Mealy had been returned for South Derry ; 
Mr. William O'Brien for South Tyrone. This result was all 
the more remarkable in face of the notorious jerrymandering 
of many seats. Under the new arrangement of single-member 
constituencies, set up by the Redistribution Act, commissioners 
had been appointed to fix the boundaries, and they had often 
done so in a partizan fashion, so as to defeat the Home 
Rulers. And yet Ulster had gone over to Parnell, and a 
majority of its members had agreed, as had all others elected 
on the Home Rule ticket, to sit, act and vote with the Irish 
Party ; the violation of this pledge entailing instant resignation 
as a punishment. 

In all, 85 out of the 103 Irish members were followers 
of Mr. Parnell. Mr. T. P. O'Connor had also been returned 
for the Scotland Road division of Liverpool, thus making the 
Parnellites 86. There were 18 Irish Tories, but not one 
single Liberal had been elected in Ireland. Equally significant 
was the fact that 22 of the Home Rulers elected had been 
imprisoned by Mr. Forster. 1 

In the meantime one noted event had taken place in 
Ireland, not connected with the General Election, but of 
1 Parnell Movement \ pp. 272-3. 



GLAD I' '\1 AMi IImMI |T! 1 

il interest In February, 

hbi hop "l 1 tablin, died. 

had been the nominee oi ( srdinal Cullen, and was quite 

much "tit empathy with Irish popular movements. 

illy mentioned for the high office 
wh had filled Dr. Walsh, the President of Maynooth 

College, and Dr. Moran, the Archbi hop oi Sydney. Dr. 
Walsh was well known to hold popular views and to be 

' B manly and fearless spirit. Or. Moran, who 

nephew oi I srdinal Cullen, was believed to share his 

Uncle's views on public questions, and was therefore favoured 

by the British influence at Rome. Mr. Errington, a sort of 

unofficial British envoy at the Vatican, was specially busy 
in the work of intrigue, and assured Lord Granville in May 
that he was keeping "the Vatican in humour," 1 and was 
evidently hoping to keep Dr. Walsh out, though the latter 
was the almost unanimous selection of the priests of Dublin. 
For months the Archbishopric remained undecided. A change 
of Government brought no change ; for the Tories, quite as 
much as the Liberals, were anxious that British influence 
should prevail. But in August Mr. William O'Brien somehow 
got possession of Mr. Krrington's letter of May to Lord 
Granville, and published it in United Ireland. The result was 
that intrigues ceased, and forthwith Dr. Walsh was appointed 
Archbishop of Dublin. That his learning and ability were 
enormous — far greater than that of any who had ever filled 
the See of Dublin — was w r ell known. But the extraordinary 
outburst of enthusiasm that hailed his appointment was due 
not so much to this as to the fact that he had to combat 
British intrigue. Nor did the English Government do justice 
to his opponent when they supposed him to be an enemy to 
Irish national aspirations. He has, on the contrary, shown 
himself to be a pronounced advocate of Home Rule. And 
in the field of Irish historical research Dr. Moran has done 
work that will endure. Altogether he is a commanding 
figure in the Catholic Church, an Irish- born Cardinal who 

1 O'Brien's Pamela ii. 27. 



I ill. rORIl i AND COER( I >N 325 

. brought to .1 fai off land the highest qualities of icholai 
ihip .ni<l rcligi< >ua zeal. 

in August Dr. Walsh returned from Rome to Ireland 
Archbishop; before the end ol Decembei the General 
Election was over, and when the new year dawned the 
was thick with rumours as to what the immediate futu 
would brii ii was evident that the Tories could not 

continue in office, At the head of ■ itrong party it is 
probable that Lord Churchill and his colleagues would hs 
brought in a Home Rule! measure acceptable to the [ri 
party. But being only 250 in number, they were not sto 

enough to discard the Orangemen, and the Orangemen would 
never consent to Home Rule. "I have done my best for 
you," said Lord Churchill to the Irish leaders, "and have 
tailed ; and now, of course, I'll do my best against you." l 
What that meant soon appeared. Lord Carnarvon and the 
Chief Secretary resigned and were replaced by Lord London- 
derry, the descendant of Castlereagh, and by Mr. W. II. 
Smith, one of the most anti-Irish of the Tories. Concurrently 
with these changes there were many Tory speeches describing 
Ireland as in a state of lawlessness ; and in January, when 
Parliament opened, the Queen's Speech declared emphatically 
against Home Rule and called for further powers of repression. 
A little later a Bill was promised to suppress the National 
League." A Government with such a policy was not to be 
maintained in office by Irish votes, and when Mr. Jesse 
Collings moved an amendment to the Address in favour of 
small holdings for agricultural labourers he was supported by 
Liberals and Irish. A few Whigs, led by Lord Hartington 
and Mr. Goschen, voted with the Tories, but the Liberals and 
Irish carried the day, and by 329 to 259 votes the Tories 
were driven from office. 3 

Mr. Gladstone then became Prime Minister. His subse- 
quent attitude on the Irish question was often described by 
his opponents as unworthy of him. It was said that his 

1 Par mil Movement, p. 274. 2 A?inual Register, pp. 12, 25. 

3 Ibid. 32. 



GLAD i .1 am > ii" mi i i 1 i 

i Home Rule was due to his anxiety to return 
that hii conversion oral not the result of conviction, 

.e. sudden US that of Saul (il 1 ai u,. But tin, [| an 

inn itement oi the At far back as [882 he favoured 

/eminent foi Ireland, pointing out to Mr, Forster that 

"until uc I., rriousl) msible bodies to < lt-.il with us 

m Ireland, every plan we frame cornea to irishmen ai an 
English plan, and .1, Mich li probably condemned." 1 F01 
tlu- tune Mi 1 1 tei , obstinacy blocked the path of reform, 

and the i'htenix Park inurdeis turned the public miud from 
sion to coercion, liut Mr. Gladstone rly waited for 

the calm which was to follow the storm, and in May 1885 he 
proposed fur Ireland a " central Board of Local Government 
on something of an elective basis," 2 a plan which had the 
merit of being acceptable both to Mr. Parnell and Mr. 
Chamberlain. It was not, however, acceptable to all Mr. 
Gladstone's colleagues in the Cabinet, and was therefore 
dropped. The proposed scheme was not the same as setting 
up an Irish Parliament, but it might in time develop into such ; 
and Mr. Gladstone was certain that the rejection of the smaller 
measure would lead only to larger demands being made by 
Ireland. Carefully guarding himself against acceptance or 
rejection of such possible demands, he waited for the result 
of the General Election. Hitherto Home Rule had been asked 
by a minority of Irish members — an active and able minority 
no doubt, but yet a minority. It stood on a different footing 
when it was asked by five-sixths of the Irish representatives. 
As a constitutional leader Mr. Gladstone saw that a crisis 
had come, that Home Rule had become a living reality in 
the field of practical politics, and could no longer be ignored. 
That he was not anxious for power or personal triumph was 
evident from the fact that he desired the Tories would settle 
the question, promising them his support. Lord Salisbury 
could then ignore the Orangemen. Mr. Gladstone could 
ignore the Whigs, and a moderate measure of Home Rule 
could be passed, acceptable to all reasonable Irishmen, though 
1 Morley's Gladstone \ ii. 298. 2 Ibid. 431. 



GLADSTONE IN 0FFIC1 

not ii' rily acceptable to the extreme [riah demand. 

The Tory leader-., however, reje< ted these proposal , and 

then, and only then, did Mr. Gladstone drive the Tories out, 

and accepted office with the object oi settling the Irish 
question <>n lines acceptable to Mr. Parnell. 

I lis task was one of extreme difficulty. Lord Hartington 
nld have no Home Rule, would not even consider the 
question with the object of discovering some lolution; 1 and 
though on Mr. Collings's amendment his strength was but 
eighteen, it would probably be greater as an opponent of Home 
Rule. Mr. Goschen shared Lord Harrington's views, as did 

the eminent Liberal lawyer, Sir I lenry James. Mr. Chamberlain 
was willing to gO further than these, but unwilling to set up an 
Irish legislative assembly. With the instinct of the trader he 
could only deal with hard facts, and rather as a shopkeeper than 
as a statesman. Businesslike, unsympathetic, unimaginative, 
he took no account of sentiment, of tradition, of national pride. 
The associations in the mind of Ireland with her lost Parliament, 
the wit of Curran, the statesmanship of Flood, the eloquence of 
Plunkett, the genius of Grattan appealed to him not at all. 
With the haughty exclusiveness of an Imperialist, he would 
only concede a Board or Council with power to deal with roads 
and bridges and water and gas, and professed to see danger to 
his own country in conceding an Irish Parliament, though its 
powers should be limited and circumscribed and it should be 
entirely subordinate to the Imperial Parliament. He was 
willing, however, to examine the Irish question, and took office, 
though he was not sanguine that Mr. Parnell's demand could 
be conceded without sacrificing the unity of the Empire. 3 

Mr. Trevelyan also took office, but like Mr. Chamberlain 
was hesitating and timorous. But Lord Granville, Lord Ripon, 
Lord Rosebery, Lord Aberdeen, Mr. Campbell-Bannerman and 
Sir William Harcourt took office without hesitation and without 
making conditions. So also did the great lawyer, Sir Charles 
Russell. And Lord Spencer pronounced unequivocally for Home 

1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 499-500 ; ChurchilPs Life, ii. 29-31. 
- Morley's Gladsto?ie, ii. 533-4. 3 Ibid. 534-5. 



».i INI AND HOW i.i 

II had admit rcion in Ireland with vigour 

i without fear, but experience had taught him tli.it it. use 

beat but temporary, and thai generous concessions were 

.1 in i and lafei remed) foi Irish ills. 1 [n the new Cabinet 

\li John Morley, who took the office o( Chief 

i tarj I i Ireland. As journalist and author he was already 

well known, and though not long in Parliament bad already 

made Ins mark i eakei His speeches were characterized 

by that literal 1 ) charm which marks his writings, and on the 

platform and in Parliament liis finished sentences fell pleasantly 

on the ear. Manly, outspoken, courageous, a man of deep 

thought and i onviction, he thought out political problem i 

for himself, and arrived at his own conclusions ; and while the 
Tories were yet in office he declared boldly for Home Rule. 
Such were the men who formed Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet, and 
who, during the months of February and March, endeavoured to 
elaborate a Home Rule Bill and a Land Purchase Bill for 
Ireland." 

While this work was proceeding, Mr. W. E. Forster died, 
and thus disappeared one determined enemy of Home Rule. 
There was a deep pathos in such an ending to such a career. 
No other Chief Secretary in modern times had so deeply 
roused Irish passion. The memory of Buckshot Forster was 
execrated little less than that of Cromwell. Jails filled, free 
speech denied, newspapers and meeting:- suppressed, con- 
stitutional rights denied — these were the fruits of his rule. 
And while the innocent was often punished, murder was 
unpunished, and the murderers were free and even unknown. 
Ignoring the healing effects of concession on a disturbed 
Ireland, his cry was for more coercion. He wanted the Crimes 
Act renewed in 1885, and was reluctant about conceding Mr. 
Chamberlain's Central Board, 3 and when Mr. Gladstone went 
beyond this in 1886, Forster held up his hands in horror, for 
now surely the dismemberment of the Empire was at hand. 4 

1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 537. 

2 Annual Register, pp. 36-37 ; Morley's Gladstone, ii. 537. 

3 Reid's Life of Forster, ii. 508. 4 Ibid. 553-4. 



Tin ii >\n i' ii. BILL 

.Ami yet th<- i n. m' . hear! was kind and he really loved Ireland. 

In lie had helped the tai \ ii)}; Irish [>c;i i ml , and Ifl 

Man h i 886 one of the I ' in • life w* i t<> end ■ ■ » 1 1 > 

-.. i ipti. .ii tt» [reland t<> relieve distress on tin- desolate island oi 
I nnistx ►flfin. 1 

On the 8th "i April Mi. Gladstone introduced l)is Home 
Rule Bill .mud scenes such as had rarely been witnessed at 
Westminster. At break of day members hurried to tie- Hon 
of Commons t<> secure seats ; at eleven o'ekx k • arcely a sin 

seat was vaeant J A\\i\ when M r. ( rladstl >ne entered tiie Ib-ii.e 

after four o'clock many members, unable to get other accom- 
modation, occupied chairs on the floor of the House. Outside 

in the lobbies knots gathered to discuss the political situation 
and speculate as to what the immediate future would reveal. 
The galleries were all filled. Peers, peeresses, prelates, princes 
of the blood, ambassadors of foreign powers, rank and station 
and beauty and learning looked down with eagerness on the 
historic scene. As Mr. Gladstone entered he was greeted 
with enthusiastic cheers from the Liberal and Irish benches. 
He rose at half-past four, and for three hours and a half he 
unfolded his scheme. The extent of ground to be covered, the 
vast interests involved, the complexity of detail called rather 
for exposition than for eloquence ; and Mr. Gladstone could of 
all men clearly expound. But eloquence and argument also 
were not wanting. The long march of historic events, the 
centuries of oppression on the one hand and of suffering on 
the other, the confiscations and plantations which make up so 
much of Irish history, and which tell of Ireland's martyrdom and 
of England's shame, were all familiar to the orator, and stirred 
him to eloquent outbursts. His exquisite voice, flexible in the 
highest degree, rose in declamation or sank in appeal as he 
denounced the infamy of the Act of Union, or pleaded for 
justice and fair-play for a long-tried and sorely-oppressed land. 
Reminding his hearers that the Union had been followed by 
coercion rather than by equal laws, he recalled how even con- 
cessions being too long delayed had been robbed of grace and 

1 Lifc y \\. 559. 



(.1 \i. AND i : i l.i 

I . ;land, he said, had taken no account o( 
, Irish 1 eling , Irish prejudices ; her wanti and 

ilted by Parliament ; and law had always been 
I by Ireland • it had come clothed in a t 

.;>. lie- coil no alternative to Home Rule hut drastic 

>n ; no in :it>' in conceding to Ireland the demands 

: her representatives ; no national danger but 

rather national security in the extension and enla r g em e n t of 

J powers; and nothing in his proposals inconsistent with 
the unity of the Empire or the supremacy of the Imperial 
Parliament He instanced the cases of Austria and Hungary, 

N rway and Sweden, and of many of the British colonies 
to show that Home Rule had worked well, and he believed 
that in Ireland also similar happy results would follow. New 
powers and responsibilities would bring steadiness and sobriety 

i contentment ; loyalty would replace disloyalty and dis- 
content ; old wounds would be healed ; the strife of centuries 
would be closed, and bitter memories would be for ever 
exorcised. 1 

The proposed Irish Assembly would consist of two orders. 
The lower order, consisting of 206 members, would be 
elected for five years on the existing Parliamentary franchise. 
The upper order, consisting of 103 members — 28 representative 
Irish peers and 75 others, with a property qualification of ^200 
a year — would be elected for ten years by those rated at £2 5 
a year. Both orders would ordinarily sit and vote together ; but 
they might deliberate separately, and if while doing so they dis- 
agreed as to any Bill, a temporary veto was the result. Irish 
members would no longer sit at Westminster. The Viceroy 
representing the Sovereign would not be a party man, ceasing 
to hold office with the party who appointed him. He could 
assent to and veto Bills, and summon and dissolve Parliament ; 
nor could the Irish Parliament curtail his powers. The Irish 
executive would be responsible to the Irish Parliament, and 
judges would be appointed for life as in England. Reserved 
to the Imperial Parliament were the imposition and collection 

1 Hansard, ccciv. 



tin H0M1 RUL1 BILL 

oi customs and c\. i .i- duties, .ill question ol peace and * 
foreign relations, trade, navigation and copyright, and control 

ovci ; i .Hid land forces and national defences. Moi 

could the Irish Parliament endow any religion or imposr any 
Incapacity because ol religious belief, noi could it I ontrol 

over the police until sonic veai had elapsed. Revi ing the 
ir. al arrangement settled In 1817, Ireland's contribution to the 
Imperial Exchequer would henceforth be one-fifteenth; this 
arrangement to last for thirty years, alter which it might be 
revised. The Irish Government would also take over all lot 
due to the British Treasury which had been advanced for Irish 
purposes, but was to be handed over the balance of the Irish 
Church Surplus. 1 

Supplementary to the Home Rule Bill was the Irish Land 
Purchase Bill, which Mr. Gladstone introduced on the ifith of 
April. The House of Lords, being a House of landlords and 
always specially partial to Irish landlordism, would never assent 
to Home Rule if Irish landlords were to be left to the mercy 
of an Irish Parliament. But if the Irish landlords were bought 
out at a high figure the Lords' assent to Home Rule would be 
the more readily obtained. This was Mr. Gladstone's hope, 
and it was for this reason he brought in his Land Purchase 
Bill. It provided for the buying out by the State of all land- 
lords who wished to sell. The price, which was to be fixed by 
the Land Courts, was estimated at twenty years' purchase of 
the net rent, and would be advanced by the British Treasury 
and repayable by the tenants — principal and interest — in 
forty-nine years, at 4 per cent of the purchase money. A 
British official, called a Receiver-General, was to be appointed, 
whose duty it would be to transmit the rent-charge and all 
other items of revenue payable from Ireland to the British 
Treasury. But he would be merely an executive officer, and 
would have no power to levy any tax. 2 

Both the Home Rule and Land Purchase Bills passed their 

1 Parnell Movement, pp. 275-80; Pamphlet by Sydney Buxton, Mr. 
Gladstone's Irish Bills. 

- Parnell Movement, pp. 280-82; Hansard, ccciv. 1778-18 10. 



GLAD! r< >N1 and li- )\il i ! i 

without a division ; but neither wai received with 

in and neith( ped hostile criticism. Mr, Parnell, 

uIk.iu Mr. Gladstone had o fiercely denounced In i ss i , had 

for being elated, but even h<- was cautioui and 

ll<- disliked the Land Purchase Bill , he disliked the 

[ons about the control of the point-; he wanted power 

h nuii ; ami li<- fought hard with Mr. 

idstone before tin- Home Rule Bill was introduced to have 

the contribution from Ireland to the Imperial Exchequer fixed 

itieth rather than a fifteenth, firmly convinced that tin* 

latter was too high. He hoped that on these points conces- 

ni would be made in Committee, and it was at least possible 

that if such were to DC refused he would wreck the Hill. 1 

The ( )rangemen were Specially enraged, protesting against 
the infamy of handing over the loyal Protestants of Ireland to 
rebels and traitors." The better to rOUSC them to fury, Lord 
Randolph Churchill went to Belfast, and in language of reckless 
ence urged on the Ulstermen to resist, predicting that if 
r Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill became law, " Ulster 
would fight and Ulster would be right." These fiery incite- 
ments applied to such inflammable material helped to stir up 
disorder and riots in Belfast, resulting in the loss of many lives. 
A Government note-taker was sent to report the noble Lord's 
speeches, which Mr. Morley described as full of contingent 
sedition ; 3 and when the late ally of the Irish Party found that 
even a Tory lord could not defy the law with impunity he fled 
to England. He was on safer ground in the House of 
Commons, and described the Home Rule Bill as a mass of 
contradictions and absurdities. 4 Sir M. Hicks-Beach believed 
that the Bill would in no way be a final settlement. 5 Lord 
Salisbury was equally strong, declaring that there was no 
middle term between government at Westminster and inde- 
pendent and entirely separate government at Dublin. And 

1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 546. 
- Hansard, ccciv. : Speeches of Colonel Waring, Johnson, etc. 

3 Hansard, ccciv. 1268 ; ChiirchilPs Life, ii. 60-65. 

4 Annual Register, p. 112. 5 Ibid. 118. G Ibid. 132. 



i ill « Hiir ITION i" HI 'Mi RULE 

the Tory newspapers, from the Titna down, approved ol and 

»pted the language oi Lord Salisbury. Hut it wtn from I 
I ,iberal ranks tint the nv •• t dama ic I ii.it 

Lord I l.ii tington and Mr. Goschen hould oppose f I • >i r m- Rule 
was to l)<" c\|)ci ted, and it excited no -ii!! ii '• when th< 
appeared on the same platform with Lord Salisbury and Mr. 
\\ ll. Smith in opposition to Mr. Gladstone's BilL And both 
vigorously denounced it on its first reading In the House ol 
Commons. 1 Mr. Trevelyan and Mr, Chamberlain on 

different -.round. They had taken office under Mr. G >ne. 

They were not indeed enthusiastic supporters, and as they failed 
in the Cabinet to mould Mr. Gladstone's scheme in accordance 

with their own views, they resigned. They resigned b Fore the 

Home Rule Hill was introduced, and on its first reading thi 
Vigorously assailed it. Mr. Trevelyan, who spoke first," 
objected to have the police, even for a time, independent of 
the Irish Government ; he objected to the financial provisions; 
he objected to the attempted distinction between local and 
Imperial questions ; and he objected to any scheme for buying 
out the Irish landlords. He was in favour of a large and 
generous measure of local government for Ireland, but he 
stopped short at a legislative assembly, which would give 
supreme power to Mr. Parnell and his followers. Mr. 
Chamberlain was an abler debater than Mr. Trevelyan and a 
far less scrupulous politician. He too was in favour of a large 
measure of local government for Ireland, he was even in 
favour of Federation, but he would not accept Mr. Gladstone's 
scheme. He objected to the exclusion of the Irish members 
from the Imperial Parliament ; it would place them in a 
degrading position. He objected to the proposed fiscal arrange- 
ments. He objected to laying a heavy burden on the British 
taxpayer for the purpose of bribing Irish landlords. He 
believed that Mr. Gladstone's measure would only lead to 
further agitations and ill-feeling ; and he declared his readiness 
to vote for total separation rather than vote for such a Bill. 3 

1 Annual Register, pp. 13 1-3. 2 Hansard, ccciv. 1104-24. 

3 Ibid. 1 182-1207. 



G LA D \M) i I I'll 

i [ad Mi I ulted Mr, ( hamberialn more 

[uently, li d more t<> hii views, had lie rated hi ■ 

him the post oi I ham ellor of the 
rent to the I liberal Premiei 

p, it may Ik- that the younger Mian' iwii tO Home Rule 

would ba> me and his opposition changed into 

1 Wit Mr. ( Gladstone disliked some oi Mr, ( lhamberlain's 

kadi al schemes and his manner oi putting them before the 

public ; he did not rate his abilities as of the first order, and 

to have regarded him as a possible Liberal 

■mier. Mr ( hamhei lain, conscious of -Meat powers, must 
ire felt hurt at all this ; nor did any one assail both of Mr. 
idstone's Hills with such vehemence and passion. On the 

: reading of the Home Rule Bill his criticism was scathing 

and Severe, and on the Land Purchase Bill he indulged in 
similar criticism. And passing from Parliament to the 
platform, he used every artifice of an unscrupulous politician to 
prejudice the public mind. Prodigal of prophecy, he foretold 
that Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill would lead to constant 
friction, to further agitation, to ultimate separation. It would 
set up, within thirty miles of the shores of Great Britain, an 
independent and hostile nation. And he said this in spite of 
the fact that Army and Navy, Militia and Volunteers were still 
to be exclusively under the control of the British Parliament. 
Though in favour of Land Purchase, and convinced, as his 
subsequent conduct proved, that it involved no danger to the 
State and imposed no burden on the British taxpayer, he 
predicted that the Irish tenants would repudiate their bargain 
and strike against the payment of rents ; and thus would the 
hard-earned money of British workmen be squandered on thrift- 
less Irish landlords and dishonest Irish tenants. " Workmen of 
England and Scotland," he said, " where is your remedy ? You 
will be Irish landlords ; you will have to evict the tenants ; 
you will have to collect your rents at the point of the bayonet ; 
and I refuse to be a party to such contingencies." 1 

1 Annual Register, pp. 158-60; O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 136; Hansard, 
cccvi. 



I I'll \h WDM 'I 

Lesser men among the Liberals, such as Mr. Courtney and 
Mr. Caine, followed the Lead ol Mr. Chamberlain, though tl 
were not so eloquent In speech noi unscrupulous In attack. 
( >n more than one platform also l.<»i<l Hartington repeated the 
arguments he had used In the House of Commons; and Mr. 
Goschen, on the same urprised both friends and foes by 

the fire with which he spoke. 1 Bui though these speeche 
were not without effect and the Land Purchase Bill wi yy 

where coldly received, the Liberal associations throughout 
Great Britain were unwilling t<> desert Mr, Gladstone's army, 
even when Mr, Chamberlain sounded the bugle«call. a Much 
of this, no doubt, w.is due to the great personality of Mr. 
Gladstone; much to the fact that Irish opinion all over the 
world favoured his measures and even welcomed them with 
gratitude ; much to the able speeches made by Sir William 
Harcourt and others in the Mouse of Commons. And many 
were convinced by the thoughtful and reasoned arguments of 
Mr. Morley on public platforms ; still more perhaps by the 
public speeches of Lord Spencer. His high character, his 
stainless honour, his manifest patriotism, his zeal for the public 
interests were everywhere recognized. Nor could the masses 
fail to be impressed when such a man, with his recent experi- 
ences in Ireland, declared that there was no alternative to Home 
Rule but Coercion, that he could see nothing in Mr. Gladstone's 
Bill involving separation or dismemberment, and that Home 
Rule, and that only, would bring contentment and peace. 4 

Mr. Gladstone's position was still further strengthened when 
he foreshadowed the abandonment of the Land Bill, warning 
the Irish landlords that the sands in the hour-glass were 
running out. And he declared further that his Home Rule 
Bill was not a cast-iron measure. It was open to amendment. 
Let his followers but vote for the second reading, and he would 
postpone the question until autumn, and then he would recast 
and reintroduce the Bill. 5 

1 Annual Register, p. 161. 2 Ibid. 157-8, 168-9. 3 Ibid. 165-6. 

4 Ibid. 1 5 1-4; Fitzmaurice's Life of Lord Granville, ii. 484-5. 

5 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 572-4; Annual Register, pp. 194-6. 



\i< n n n ii 

Oi i lishman, Mr. John Bright, had hitherto kept 

! men wei o know what were hia 

The friend and comrade oi Cobden, the eloquent 

advocate < popular measure, the champion of freedom 

in every land, he commanded tl nate attachment ol the 

And in li« land hi-, iiainr u;r, held d< .u. 

Hei ii. and wrongs had touched hi, he. Hi, her oppression 

by a itronger powei had roused h , he was hei friend 

in dark < ; i h<-n few Englishmen were her friends, and it 

uonld be Strange il la- deserted her now when his old hand, 

Gladstone, was opening to her the gates of freedom. But 
there are some men whose love of freedom grows cold with 
the advance of age, and signs were not wanting that Mr. 
Bright was one of these. Forgetting apparently that the Irish 

members were freely elected by Ireland and represented her 
he had conceived an unreasoning dislike for them, and 
had no better names for them than rebels and traitors. He 
could not believe them loyal, honourable or truthful, and told 
Mr. Gladstone, in the middle of May, that his policy of surrender 
to them would be disastrous both to Ireland and to Great 
Britain. He did not, however, favour Mr. Chamberlain's 
scheme of Federation ; and he was utterly opposed to the 
Land Purchase Bill. 1 A fortnight later, in spite of his deep 
personal attachment to Mr. Gladstone and his desire to agree 
with him, his views remained the same. He did not, indeed, 
think that an Irish Parliament would favour religious perse- 
cution, or separation, or a policy of public plunder ; and he 
heartily approved of the clause in the Home Rule Bill exclud- 
ing the Irish members from Westminster. And yet he was 
opposed to the Home Rule and to the Land Purchase Bills. 
Out of respect for Mr. Gladstone he had hitherto held his 
tongue, but a few days later he declared publicly against his 
old friend. This was welcome news for Mr. Chamberlain, for 
it meant that Home Rule had received its death-blow. 2 

1 Morley, ii. 567-9. 

2 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 146-52. See also the Cornhill Magazine for 
October 1908, and Truth, 14th October of the same year. 






I 111 ECOND Rl IDING Dl nn 
I he second reading debate was then proceeding it w 

Opened by Ml. Gladstone in I ipeecb, ai;;uin< i;tative ;iiid 

conciliatory, in which he laid special emphasis on the fact that 
the only alternative t<> Home Rule wai * oercion. 1 A litl 

later this j >t >1 i<.>- was boldly avowed out id'- I'.n liament by 

Lord Salisbury, who likened the lii th to l [ottentof , and who t 

prescription lor Ireland was twenty years ol i< oluti in 

ment, meaning twenty yean of continuous coeri ion. Meantime 
Lord Hartington had moved the rejection ol the Home Rule 
Bill, having been followed on the same side by Sir Henry 

lames, Mr. (ioschen and Mr. T revel) an, and by some of the 
Ulster members, the latter shrieking wildly that they W< 
being betrayed. 1 On the other side important speeches were 

made by Mr. Bryce, Mr. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Charles 
Russell and Mr. Morley ; while from the Irish benches Mr. 
William O'Brien spoke with admirable temper and convincing 
force. 1 And Mr. Stansfield made damaging use of Lord 
Salisbury's Hottentot speech, describing it as "excelling in 
calculated recklessness the wildest speech ever uttered by 
Nationalist or Orangeman." 4 

The long debate often dragged wearily, until the night 
of the ist of June, when Mr. Chamberlain spoke. Know- 
ing the popularity of Mr. Gladstone throughout the country, 
he was careful to make no attack on him ; and knowing 
the feeling among the Liberal electors in favour of Home 
Rule, he declared his agreement with the principle, but not 
with Mr. Gladstone's scheme. He carefully avoided any 
reference to the alternative policy of Coercion, and seized 
on all the weak points of Mr. Gladstone's whole Irish 
policy with the skill and dexterity of a practised hand. 5 
He was answered from the Liberal benches by Sir William 
Harcourt, and from the Irish by Mr. T. M. Healy, Mr. 
Dillon, Mr. T. P. O'Connor and Mr. Sexton. The speech 
of the latter was second only to Mr. Gladstone's, fully equal 

1 Hansard, cccv. 9 - Ibid, cccv.-cccvi. 

3 Ibid. cccv. 622-32. 4 Ibid. 1 178-9. 

5 Ibid, cccvi. 675-700. 

Vol. Ill 92 



GLAD6TON1 w • HOM1 RUL1 

t» Mi < hamb -i lain 1 1 In debating power, and far beyond it 
in ni itained eloquent r. 1 

( )n the ;-th ol June, the la t night o( the memorable debate, 
Mr Parnell . making what Mr. Morley described as a 

masterly ipeech "not the mere dialectic of a party debate, 
but the utterance of a man. ■ . . As he dealt with Ulster, 

with finai Ith the mpremacy of Parliament, with the loyal 

minority, with the settlement of education in an Irish legislature 
— soberly, steadily, deliberately, with that full, familiar, deep 
insight into the bets of a country which is only possible to a 

man who belongs to it and has passed his life in it — the effect 
of Mr. Parnell's speech was to make even able disputants on 
cither side look little better than amateurs."-' This is remark- 
able testimony to Mr. Parnell's powers from so competent a 
critic, but whoever peruses the Speech will readily admit its 
justice. 

Sir M. Hicks-Beach wound up the debate for the Opposi- 
tion, following Mr. Cowen, who made an extremely eloquent 
speech for the Bill ; and then Mr. Gladstone rose, just as the 
clock tolled the midnight hour. His speech was worthy of 
the occasion and of the man. Avoiding petty recrimination 
and personal attack, it was marked by cogent reasoning, by 
persuasive argument, by solemn appeal. The interests of two 
nations long divided were at stake, the opportunity to close 
ancient feuds had come, and Mr. Gladstone, recalling the past 
and peering into the future, spoke less as an advocate than as 
a statesman. With his opponents he dealt not ungenerously. 
Mr. Chamberlain alone he treated with mocking contempt. 
That gentleman had avowed that he did not fear a dissolution; 
and Mr. Gladstone declared that he was not surprised, for Mr. 
Chamberlain had carefully trimmed his sails to catch every 
passing breeze. If his audience at an election favoured the 
Home Rule Bill then before Parliament, he could say that he 
had voted in favour of its principle. If they declared against 
it, he could point to his vote on the second reading. If 
they wanted a larger Bill, he could say he had declared for 

1 Hansard, cccvi. 700-731. 2 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 5 57- 



THE SECOND READING DEBA I I GOV1 DEF1 11 

Federation, H his audience thought the Bill went too far, 

could say that the last "I hil OWH plan WSJ foi " foUf pro 

vincial circuit! controlled from I lOndon." 

Leaving Mr, Chamberlain and all his changing tchem 
Mr. Gladstone took highei ground, closing with ;i peroration 

worth)' of his palmiest day,. " Inland," he said, "stand, at 

\ our bar expo taut, hopeful, almost suppliant I [er word > are 
the words of truth and soberness. She asks a blessed oblivion 

(A the past, and in that oblivion our interest Is deeper c\ 
than hers. You have been asked tO-night to abide by the 
traditions of which we are the heirs. What traditions ? By the 
Irish traditions ? Go into the length and breadth of the world, 
ransack the literature of all countries, find if you can a single 
voice, .1 single book, In which the conduct of England towards 
Ireland is anywhere treated except with profound and bitter 
condemnation. Arc these the traditions by which we are 
exhorted to stand ? No, they are a sad exception to the glory 
of our country. They are a broad and black spot upon the 
pages of its history, and what we want to do is to stand by 
the traditions of which we are the heirs in all matters except 
our relations with Ireland, and to make our relations with 
Ireland to conform to the other traditions of our country. So 
we treat our traditions, so we hail the demand of Ireland for 
what I call a blessed oblivion of the past. She asks also a 
boon for the future, and that boon for the future, unless we are 
much mistaken, will be a boon to us in respect of honour, no 
less than a boon to her in respect of happiness, prosperity and 
peace. Such, sir, is her prayer. Think, I beseech you ; think 
well, think wisely, think not for the moment but for the years 
that are to come, before you reject this Bill." 1 

The eloquent appeal was in vain. The curious combina- 
tion of Tories and Whigs, of Birmingham Radicals and Ulster 
Orangemen, held firmly together, and only 3 1 3 voted for the 
Bill while 343 voted against it, thus having an adverse majority 
of 30. For the moment Mr. Chamberlain was triumphant, 
and the Home Rule banner was in the dust. 

1 Morley, ii. 579-80 ; Hansard, cccvi. 



CHAP! ER XV 

The Unionist Government 

\\ PI R the defeat of the Home Rule Bill some members of 
Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet favoured resignation rather than 
dissolution. Their opponents would then be compelled to 
disclose their policy, and if they had nothing to offer as 
an alternative to Home Rule but Coercion, the alliance between 
Tories and dissentient Liberals would be short-lived. But 
Mr. Gladstone, who favoured dissolution, stated that he knew 
of no instance in which a Government defeated on a great 
national question failed to appeal from Parliament to the 
people. And if the Home Rule Government now deviated 
from well-established precedent, it would be said that they 
feared to face the people, and had themselves lost confidence 
in Home Rule. Mr. Gladstone's arguments were convincing 
as his authority was overwhelming, and Parliament was 
dissolved in the last week of June. 1 

The fight which followed was a fight of giants. Nor did 
Mr. Gladstone ever appear so great. Faced by powerful foes, 
deserted by friends who had long fought by his side, weighed 
down by the burden of seventy-six years, this wonderful old 
man, inspired by confidence and conviction, entered the lists 
with the courage and enthusiasm of youth. He had, it is 
true, many grounds for hope. The alternative Tory policy of 
Coercion was not popular. On the other hand, the prospect 
of a final settlement of the eternal Irish question, which had 
perplexed so many Parliaments and ruined so many Ministers, 

1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 581-2. 
340 



i HE GENERAL ELE4 HON OF l ; p 

had iti attraction for the Hectors; 1 and Mi Gladstone could 
point to the fact thai hii Home Rule Bill was accepted by 
live sixths of the Irish representatives and by the organs oi 

[rish opinion throughout the world. The Irish vote in (ireat 

Britain would also be an Important factor in the itruggle, and 

it had turned the scales in man)' Constituencies in the 

previous year in favour of the Tone-, It would now tmn the 
scales for the 1 liberal* 

Mr. Gladstone was further encouraged by the votes of 
confidence from so many Liberal associations, and was assured 

by Mr. Schnadhorst, the chief Liberal organizer, that the 
electors were in advance of their representatives, and that a 
General Election would mean victory for Home Rule. Mr. 
Gladstone had also confidence in himself, in his eloquence, 
his powers of persuasion, in the enthusiasm which he inspired ; 
believing that if his opponents had with them u class and the 
dependents of class," the people's hearts were with him. 2 

Yet the strength of his opponents was indeed great, well 
calculated to strike even a great orator and statesman with 
dismay. " You have power," said Mr. Gladstone, " you have 
wealth, you have rank, you have station, you have organiza- 
tion, you have the place of power." 3 Nor did this formidable 
combination neglect any weapon which could be effectively 
employed. Argument, appeal, national pride, ancient prejudice, 
class hatred, selfish interests, social ostracism were all requisi- 
tioned. Home Rulers were blackballed in clubs and avoided 
in the streets. Great magnates ceased to ask them to their 
country-houses or include them in their dinner-parties. They 
were shunned in the racing-paddock and in the hunting-field. 
A lady specially asked that she should not be placed at dinner 
next to Lord Granville, who, being a Home Ruler, was a 
traitor to his country. And the occupant of a suburban villa 
could not believe that any of his neighbours were Home 

1 Life of Granville, ii. 469. "The bribe to me, and I suspect to 
Great Britain, which would have most effect, would be to get rid of the 
Irish members from the House of Commons, into which they are intro- 
ducing dry rot" (Granville to Lord Spencer, Dec. 1885). 

2 Hansard, cccvi. 1239. 3 Ibid. 






I ill I M> >NIS1 GOV] rwii N i 



Rulers, \> I uld not be gentlemen. 1 The 

Press ittacked Mi Gladstone and his Home Rule policy with 
bitternc The pulpit rang with denunciation! <>i the man 

who had I the ln.h ( hlirch and who was now bent 

on i the British Emp 1 h<- General Assembly 

the Irish Presbyterian Church and the General Synod of 
the Pi tant Church joined hands In protesting against a 
Parliament .it Dublin manned by rebels and traitors. Irish 
officials with big salaries and little work used all the influence 
they could command against the new policy. Ulster Oran 
men breathed threats of civil war. Lord Randolph Churchill 
cribed tin- Home Rule Hill as one that might have come 
from Bedlam or Colney Hatch." Mr. Bright openly proclaimed 
his opposition, and, blinded by prejudice against the Irish 
members, became the champion of Ulster bigotry. Lord Hart- 
*uii put the Whig case without, however, being offensive to 
his great opponent. As for Mr. Chamberlain, his objections 
and alternative schemes followed each other with bewildering 
rapidity. And for the minor combatants no statement was 
too extravagant to make. Visions of popery enthroned on 
high, of an Ulster ablaze, of an Ireland in revolt against 
England were conjured up ; and one Unionist orator claimed 
Mr. Gladstone's authority for the statement that the State 
purchase of the Irish landlords would add between three 
and four hundred millions to the National Debt. 3 The 
Unionist combination indeed was a strange one : the Whig 
and the Tory democrat, the Orangeman and the Radical, the 
Primrose dame and the Irish Presbyterian, the parson and 
the publican, the artisan from the slums of Birmingham and 
the plutocrat from Park Lane. 

Like Napoleon after Leipsic, Mr. Gladstone had to lament 
the desertion of some of his comrades-in-arms. But not a 
few of the old comrades were with him still. Harcourt's 
debating power was of the greatest value ; Morley was 
convincing, for he spoke out of deep conviction ; Campbell- 

1 Fitzmaurice's Life of Lord Gra?iville, ii. 494-5. 
2 Annual Register, pp. 239-40. 3 The Pat nell Movement, pp. 284-7. 



tin GENER \i- mi I 1 1« >\ 01 l8W 

Bannerman ivu courageous; Bryce's knowledge of constitu 
tional questions was profound , Spencer, driven from Coercion 
by bittei experience ol its futility, carried great weight with 
the electo But Gladstone himself) like Agamemnon, was 
king <>i men. His length <•( years, the splendour <>( his 

public services, the acknowledged supreme . <>f hi talei 

his Incomparable eloquence, his world wide knowled ed 

him above his contemporaries, and beside him 'very man 
looked small. Men thronged to see him and hear him i 

something t<> be remembered in alter years ; they listened 

to him when they tinned with contempt from the ablest 
of his contemporaries ; they were fascinated by the man 

whom they Considered, and with justice, the greatesl ornament 
of their race. As he passed through the streets of Edinburgh 

or Glasgow, of Manchester or Liverpool, his progress was that 
of a conqueror. Nor had he any difficulty in dealing with 
the arguments of his opponents. In answer to the charge 
of Catholic bigotry, he pointed to Ireland under a Protestant 
leader, and reminded his hearers that every Irish Parliamentary 
leader had been a Protestant except O'Connell. To the 
demand that Ulster should have a separate legislative assembly, 
he pointed out that the ablest and the most trusted of the 
Ulster leaders, Major Saunderson, made no such claim. The 
objection that an Irish Parliament might endow the Catholic 
religion he met by pointing out that such was specially pro- 
hibited in his Home Rule Bill. He recalled how the Union 
was passed and what evils had followed, contrasting the 
poverty and discontent after 1 800 with the progress and 
prosperity under Grattan's Parliament. He dealt effectively 
with Mr. Chamberlain's changing plans, his Federation Scheme, 
his Canadian Home Rule, his Provincial Councils, with his 
croaking prophecies and perverted history ; and he often 
reminded his audience that the Tory alternative to Home 
Rule was twenty years of Coercion. 1 Finally, he refused to 
call the Liberal deserters Liberal Unionists, as they wished, 

1 Speeches at Edinburgh and Glasgow — pamphlets published by 
National Press Agency. 



l 111 IIST GO\ BRNMENT 

but called them id Dissentient Liberals, though the 

i end Unionist wis the mora usual one used by the 
pub 

Po n I the objections of those who were genuine Home 

Rulers but who objected to in-. Home Rule Hill, Mr. Gladstone 

iras willing to concede something, But he obstinately clung 

the ( lausc excluding the Irish members from Westminster, 

! thus gave liis critic some rctson to say that Imperial 

unity was sacrificed He also clung to the Land Hill, or at 

i bowed no readiness t<> drop it, though it was disliked 

Ofl CVCry side. /\nd there is no doubt that his obstinacy 

on these points lost him votes. There were Liberal voters 
rmrd with the Irish for having so recently allied 
themselves with Tories and attacked the Liberals. And there 
were Liberal voters who thought that Home Rule was sprung 
upon them, who had not therefore time to understand the 
question, and who were not prepared to vote for it till they 
did. It was these timid and unconvinced voters who lost 
the election, for Mr. Gladstone was defeated chiefly by 
Liberals who abstained from voting. Nor was the defeat 
very decisive if we regard the number of votes polled rather 
than the number of members returned. In the constituencies 
contested the Unionist vote was 1,316,327, the Liberal 
1,238,342, a difference of less than 80,000 out of more 
than 2,500,000 votes polled. Had the electoral system 
provided for proportional representation, the number of 
Unionists returned for these seats would be 209 against 
198 Home Rulers, whereas the actual figures were 256 
Unionists to 151 on the opposite side. In Ireland the 
numbers remained the same. Two of the ablest of the 
Irish party were defeated — Mr. Healy in South Derry, and 
Mr. O'Brien for South Tyrone — but these losses were counter- 
balanced by the return of Mr. Justin MacCarthy for the City 
of Derry and of Mr. Sexton for West Belfast. When the 
last returns had come in the Tories numbered 3 1 6, the 
Liberal Unionists 74, thus giving a majority of 110 against 
Home Rule. Mr. Chamberlain's adherents were not more 



Till l ■< >i:ii i VGAIN IN « -I I I' I 

than i \ the remainder i »l the l liberal I fni< >nl if - foll< 
the lead of I ord I [ai tingto >n. 

Mi Parnell urged the defeated Minister! to cling to offi 
t»n the ground thai though Home Rule had been defeated, 
Liberalism rather than Conservatism had triumphed Bui 
when Parliament met it was certain thai an adv< Ae <"i 

tin- [Hah question would In- taken, and then M mi aVr | would 

have to ;.). And further, for tin- Home Rulers to cling to 

Office, alter having appealed to the country on a definite! policy, 

and having been defeated, would be unprecedented. 1 Resigns 
tion was therefore resolved on, and when Parliament met in 
August, Lord Salisbury was again Premier, Sir M. Hicks- 
Beach, ('hie!' Secretary for Ireland ; I -ord Londonderry, Lord- 
Lieutenant ; Lord Randolph Churchill, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons. Lord 
Salisbury had urged Hartington to form a Ministry exclusively 
of Liberal Unionists, or partly of Liberal Unionists and partly 
of Tories, and in either case had promised to support him. 
Hut the Whig Leader thought he could best defeat Home 
Rule by remaining out of office, and Mr. Chamberlain agreed 
with him, and was content that henceforth Lord Hartington 
should be his leader. 3 This was a strange turn of events, 
remembering that but a short time before Mr. Chamberlain had 
called Lord Hartington Rip Van Winkle, and Sir Stafford 
Northcote, the Conservative leader, had called Mr. Chamberlain 
Jack Cade. 

What was to be the Irish policy of the new Government? 
It could not be Coercion in face of the denunciation of Coercion 
by so many Unionist candidates during the elections. It could 
not be Land Purchase in face of the attacks made on Mr. 
Gladstone's Bill. It was not likely to be any large scheme of 
local government, for Lord Hartington had as little zeal in 
that direction as the most reactionary Tory. And it soon 

1 Annual Register, p. 255; O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 157; Morley's 
Gladstone, ii. 585-6 ; O'Connor's Parnell Movement, p. 287. 
Morley, ii. 587. 
3 Life of Churchill, ii. 124-6 ; Jeyes' Chamberlain, i. 235-6; Annual 
<ter, p. 257. 



I in i NIONIS1 GOVERN Ml M 

app that there wta to !><• no measure oi Land Reform. 

h attain arete then In ■ critical condition. So far <>nly 

»o .1 -ii' ultural tenant! bad been able to go Into the Land 

Courti to avail themaelvei of the Ad oi [881. Nearly as 

many moir, m<»,t!\ m ancir, and therefore at the landlords' 

mercy, bad wttled <>ut oi Court, and at much lesi induction 

than they would have obtained had they gone into Court. 

The remainder, numbering nearly 500,000, were in the same 
tion .is it the Ad of [88] had never been passed. 1 The 

prices of agricultural produce had recently fallen from 30 
to 40 per cent, and a political economist of great weight, 
Sir James Caird, had declared publicly that from more than 
five-sixths of the Irish agriculturist holdings all economic rent 
had for the present disappeared." In these circumstances 
Mr. Parnell, in September, introduced an amending Land Hill, 
providing that leaseholders, specially excluded from the Act of 
1 88 1, should now be admitted to its benefits; that judicial 
rents fixed before 1885 should be revised in the Land Courts, 
and that all evictions and ejectment processes should be stayed 
on payment of half the rent and arrears due, and until the 
inability of the tenant to pay was investigated in the Courts. 
Mr. Gladstone and the bulk of the Liberals supported the Bill. 
But the Government opposed it, denying Mr. Parnell's figures, 
and sceptical as to any fall in prices ; and the Chief Secretary 
described Mr. Parnell's Bill as " an act of gross injustice and 
confiscation to the landlords of Ireland." 3 He could not, how- 
ever, deny that the Irish tenants were not paying their rents, 
nor that the landlords were evicting them ; nor could he deny 
that Kerry was overrun with Moonlighters and stained by 
crime, and that there was danger of other counties in a short 
time being similarly disturbed. All the Government did was 
to appoint a commission, under Lord Cowper as chairman, to 
inquire into the working of the Irish Land Acts, and another 
to inquire into the question of Irish industrial development, and 
further to promise Ireland a measure of local government 

1 T. M. Healy in Contemporary Review ', January 1887. 
2 Annual Register, pp. 135-7. 3 Ibid. 278-83. 



THE TORI! • iSD IR1 LAND 

similar to those which were t<> be given to England and 
Scotland. Lord Randolph Churchill declared thai in dealing 
with the three countries in tins matter the Government policy 
w.is to he- marked by M equality, similarity and simultaneity/ 

The Government were determined, above all, to maintain the 
Union and resist lloine Knle, and Sir 1\. I l.nnilton, the Home 
Rule Under-Secretary for Ireland, was removed from his 
position. At the same time, anxious to stay evictions and 
prevent a reniide .eenee of agrarian agitation, the Government 
sent General Buller to Kerry. He was armed with extra- 
ordinary powers, and was soon interviewing Moonlighters and 
evicted tenants, and threatening landlords who were unreason- 
able and wanted to evict that they could not rely on having the 
forces of the Crown. This was called pressure within the law. 
Hut men like the Marquis of Clanricarde refused to submit to 
any such pressure, and the Government, charged with claiming 
a power of dispensing from the law, repudiated making any 
such claim, and henceforth Clanricarde and his fellow-landlords 
had police and military placed at their disposal. 3 

This was the state of things in October, but it was sure to 
be worse when the November rents became due, for then there 
would be more rents to be paid and more tenants unable to 
pay. Still Mr. Parnell was for peace and patience. At the 
worst Lord Cowper's Commission would soon report, and its 
report could not be ignored by the Government. Mr. Parnell 
had set his heart on getting Home Rule. Scotland by three 
to two had declared for it, Wales by five to one, and England, 
he believed, would come round in time. But if agitation and 
outrage commenced in Ireland, the Liberals would be em- 
barrassed, the Liberal Unionists repelled, and in England the 
cry for Home Rule would be drowned in the much louder cry 
for Coercion. Parnell wanted the Unionists to proceed to 
legislation. Lord Randolph Churchill's programme of agri- 
cultural allotments and reduction of railway rates and taxation 
would be sure to irritate the old-fashioned Tories ; his ideas on 

1 Churchill's Life, \\. 138-40, 163-5. 
- Annual Register, p. 293. 3 Ibid. 294, 31 t. 



iiii unioni r & ii n i 

inuiriit were mu< h nearei the ld< Mr. Chamberlain 

m those o( Lord Harl n or Lord Salisbury, and Mr. 

Il'i hopes were thai In th< <• legislative proposals lay the 

riouf differences, and thai probably the Union of 

the Unionist! JVOllld soon In- d: . .olved. Hut some of Mr. 

ParneU's chief lieutenants were not willing to be patient They 
• willing to wait on the convenience of a Unionist 

iment, and stand a.ide while Irish tenants were driven 

from then homes. Nor indeed did the)' wish that the Unionists 

lid I lalm the credit of settling the Irish Land question. And 

hence, in the end of October, the " Plan of Campaign " was 
mulated Mr. Harrington, the Secretary of the National 
1 eague and member for Westmeath, was its author; its two 
chief advocates were Messrs. Dillon and O'Brien. 1 

It was not a No-Rent movement, nor was it intended to be 
put in force when landlords were reasonable and tenants able 
to pay. Hut when the rents were obviously too high, and such 
as could not be paid in full, the tenants adopting the Plan were 
to meet and agree on the reduction they were to demand from 
their landlord. If he refused their demand they paid him 
nothing, elected a managing committee from among them- 
selves — the priest being a member if willing to act — paid the 
reduced rent to this committee, and then fought the landlord 
with the money thus lodged. This was called the Estate Fund, 
and was to be supplemented by grant.; from the National 
League Funds. No tenant adopting the Plan was to make 
terms with the landlord, except with the consent of his fellows, 
nor hold any communication with him, and each individual 
should always abide by the decision of the majority. Campaign 
tenants who were evicted were to be supported out of the 
Estate Fund. In addition to this, every obstacle was to be 
thrown in the way of evicting landlords. No evicted farm was 
to be taken, no stock seized for rent to be purchased, and if in 
asserting his legal rights the landlord broke the law, he was to 
be brought into Court to answer for his misdeeds. 2 

1 Healy, Why Ireland is not Free, p. 18. 
2 Annual Register, pp. 312-15. 






i ill PLAN 01 l \ m i • \ i ■ 
Mi. Parnell was then seriously unwell 10 unwell t! 

when Mi. O'Brien went to London to consult him he n 
unable t * > sec him. He subsequently complained thai he had 
not i>r<-n consulted, and it was Indeed itrange that the party, 

a whole, hatl not been taken Into counsel before* b a 

Step was taken. hioin the he; ;ini mr j Mi. l'.irnell was OppO 

to the Plan, For one thing, he considered it ■ violation of the 
Kilmainham Treaty, under which, on obtaining Liberal support, 

lie was to slow down the a; .'.itation. 1 In public , Mr. Motley 

thought it best to express no opinion, but in private he told 
Mr. Parnell that the effect of the Plan in England was "wholly 
bad Mr. Gladstone's opinion coincided with that of Mr. 
Motley, but he blamed the Government even more than he 
blamed Messrs. Dillon and O'Brien.' 5 Mr. Davitt, at the 
solicitation of Mr. Parnell, had nothing to do with the Plan, 
and evidently did not approve of it. 1 As for the Tories and 
Liberal Unionists, they fiercely assailed it and its authors ; 
however much they might differ on other subjects, on this they 
were at one. But while the Plan had, from the Irish point of 
view, the unfortunate effect of closing the Unionist ranks, it 
cannot be denied that it proved a powerful weapon on the 
tenants' side, and had in the great majority of cases in which 
it was adopted the effect of bringing the landlords to reason. 
And it is certain also that many exacting landlords, fearing 
the Plan might be adopted by their tenants, hauled down their 
flag of defiance. The Government, finding their landlord 
friends were being worsted and their enemies triumphant, 
struck back, and in December Messrs. Dillon and O'Brien 
were prosecuted. Mr. Dillon gave bail, but continued his 
Campaign operations. 5 In the new year as in the old the fight 
went on ; the landlords shrieked for Coercion ; the cry was 
taken up in England, and grew in volume ; and when Parlia- 
ment opened in February, the Queen's Speech announced that 
a Coercion Bill would be introduced. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 170-74. 

2 Annual Register, p. 297 ; Life of Gladstone, ii. 610. 

3 Life of Gladstone, ii. 611-12. 4 Fall of Feudalism, pp. 514-20. 

5 Annual Register, p. 319. 



I in . I I IVERNMEN 

Bul meanwhile the Union] I Government had \ 
through .1 ordeal In the last days oi the year, without 

>u It at ion with hi. political or personal friends, Lord 

Randolph Churchill resigned his position as ( hancellor oi the 

I [chequer, lit- found fault with the Army and Navy 

, but the fad irai he was out of touch with his 

coll on many mattei i ol policy, being much more oi a 

Radical than a Tory. By sheer audacity and force of 
character he had led his party far towards Liberal reforms, 
and hail no doubt they would continue to submit themselves 
to his guidance. He believed himself necessary to the life of 
the rnment, and tendered his resignation, confident that 

it would not be accepted and that henceforth his position 
would be stronger than ever. But Lord Salisbury and his 
colleagues had had enough of Liberal programmes, and had 
long enough submitted to a Radical in the garb of a Tory. 
Much, therefore, to Lord Randolph's astonishment, Lord 
Salisbury accepted his resignation. Mr. Goschen from the 
Liberal-Unionist side became Chancellor of the Exchequer, and 
Mr. W. II. Smith became Leader of the Mouse of Commons. 1 

To Mr. Chamberlain this turn of affairs was not welcome. 
A Unionist Government without Lord Randolph Churchill, he 
thought, was not likely to hold together, and at best would be 
more Tory than Liberal, and therefore less deserving of his 
support. In this frame of mind he spoke at Birmingham, 
eulogizing the retiring Minister, and at the same time expressing 
his own anxiety for the reunion of the Liberal party. He 
could not see why the divided Liberals should continue their 
quarrels. Mr. Gladstone had formally abandoned his Irish 
Land Purchase Bill, which had proved a stumbling-block to 
many ; 2 and as for himself, he fully agreed with his late 
colleagues as to the urgency of English and Scotch reforms. 
He was, further, in favour of a large measure of local govern- 
ment for Ireland, and of settling the Irish Land question without, 
however, burdening the British taxpayer, and he urged that 

1 Annual Register, pp. 304-5 ; ChurchilPs Life, ii. 230-40, 43-48. 
2 Annual Register, pp. 272-4. 



nil-: ROUND I ^BLE CONFERENC1 

Home Rule might wait a little, at least until it w to 

Understood. N'«>i c < »ill< I he sec why a lew i «| n <■ ■< n! ..' 

Liberali from both sides, sitting round .1 table in friendly 
conference, could not bridge over the differences which kept 
them asunder, 

One of the most prominent and iniliu-nti.il of the Radii 
members, Mr. Labouchere, scoffed at Mr. Chamberlain's 
overtures as worthies, and Insinoer But Mr. Gladstone 
thought them worth considering, and in January what came 
to be called The Round Table Conference held its first 
sitting at the house of Sir William Eiarcourt Mr. Chamberlain 
and Sir George (lately Mr.) Trevelyan were on one side, Sir 
William Ilarcourt and Mr. Morley on the other, with Lord 
Herschell, the late Liberal Lord Chancellor, in the chair. 
Lord Eiarttngton was not represented, nor did he approve of 
the Conference at all. Several meetings were held, much good 
feeling displayed, many difficulties got over, many points of 
argument arrived at, and it seemed as if warring brothers were 
to lay their enmities aside and clasp hands in unity and peace. 
But suddenly and unexpectedly Mr. Chamberlain wrote an 
article in a Baptist newspaper attacking the Irish members of 
Parliament. He protested against the Scotch crofter, the 
English agricultural labourer, and the Welsh Dissenter being 
neglected for three millions of disloyal Irishmen, and because 
eighty delegates representing the policy and receiving the pay 
of the Chicago Convention were determined to obstruct all 
business until their demands had been conceded. 2 This was 
war rather than peace, and the Conference broke up never to 
meet again. A few months later Sir George Trevelyan 
abandoned Unionism and came back to his old friends. But 
Mr. Chamberlain drifted further and further away from 
Liberalism, and when the Unionists brought in a Coercion 
Bill for Ireland he was found among its supporters and its 
champions. 

It was introduced in the end of March. Earlier in the 
month Sir M. Hicks -Beach had resigned the office of Chief 
1 Annua/ Register^ pp. 304-5. 2 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 607-8. 



i >:.• UNI0NIS1 RNMENT 

j to i I health, ill-- place was taken by Mr. 
talfour, nephew oi Lord alisbury, and it wai the new 
Chief who took charge ol th rcion Bill. Mr, 

Balfoui had been ■ member o( the Fourth Party, and as mch 
had Brat come Into notice. He was a young man, scholarly, 
cultured, an author, • philosopher, lomewhat oi i sceptic, o( 
ible manners and fine literary tastes. He was not the 

man uIk-iii the public would expect to play BUCCC 

fully the role ot a militant politician. Hut Mr. Balfour BOOH 

showed unexpected capacity for political work. His courage, 
his i source, his readiness ol reply, the quickness with which 

he seized upon the weak points in his o p ponent! 1 case, the skill 
with which he extricated himself out of difficulties or defended 
an untenable position, astonished both friend and foe. Yet 
his powers were, they were severely taxed to defend 
the Coercion Hill and ensure its passage through Parliament. 
Since the Union it was the eighty-seventh Coercion Hill, and 
Mr. Gladstone described it as the worst of them all. Like its 
predecessors, it gave the Lord- Lieutenant power to proclaim 
associations, to suppress newspapers, to disperse meetings by 
force, to quarter extra police in proclaimed districts at the 
expense of the inhabitants. But, in addition, it enormously 
increased the summary jurisdiction of resident magistrates ; it 
provided for the arrest of accused persons in England, and for 
their trial in London if necessary ; and the Act was to be 
perpetual. It required no small courage to carry such a 
measure in face of such critics as the Irish Party and Mr. 
Gladstone, or to justify it to Unionist members who but twelve 
months before had indignantly repudiated Coercion as an 
alternative to Home Rule. 1 But Mr. Balfour undertook the 
task. Relying on the returns made by the Irish Constabulary, 
the charges of Irish judges at Assizes, on strong articles in 
Nationalist newspapers, on the violent speeches of irresponsible 
orators, he drew a lurid picture of Ireland. Terror of the 
National League was everywhere. The law of the land was 
paralyzed. Men were afraid to give evidence in Law Courts, 
1 Parnell Moveinent, pp. 286-7. 



BA1 FOUR'S CO] i < I- »\ in L 

afraid to ai I m jurors, afraid I - verdi* I .i- « ording to 

then oaths, Wen arere cruelly boycotted foi doing what the 
law allowed; nearly tooopersoi r$ under police protection j 
and all this was done t>\ the National I eague and the 
Nfationalist Party, supported by dynamite and dagger and 
Amn [can gold. 1 

Vsked ior particulai • •> t>> persons undei tin- ban "I the 
Nation.il League, Mr, Balfoui was not communicative, taking 

shelter under the plea <>f official secrecy. When h<- did give 

particulars in- was frequently exposed. He described ho* 
Catholic farmer named Clarke, who had obtained money under 
false pretences, had escaped conviction at the hands of a jury 
of Catholic farmers, though the ease was proved againsl him. 
Hut the fact was that Clarke was neither a Catholic nor a 
tanner. He described how a man named Hogan, accused of 
an outrage on a girl, had been similarly acquitted. But it was 
found that the girl herself was a consenting party, and there- 
fore the jury refused to convict. A third case was that of a 
Moonlighter from Kerry, also acquitted. But Mr. Harrington, 
who had acted as counsel in the case, was able to say that the 
judge disbelieved the charge and directed the acquittal of the 
prisoner. Mr. Balfour gave the names of two branches of the 
League which had passed resolutions calling for the boycotting 
of all those who refused to join the League. From Mr. 
Parnell and from Mr. Harrington came the reply that one of 
the branches had been dissolved by the Central Branch, and in 
the other case the local committee had been called on to 
resign. As to the charges of judges, no one who knew 
anything about Ireland attached any importance to them. 
Promotion to the Irish bench comes as a reward for political 
services, and the promoted lawyer is as much a partisan on the 
bench as he had been at the Bar. 2 

These exposures were damaging, and so also was the 
report of Lord Cowper's Commission, which found that there 
had been a considerable fall in agricultural prices. 3 Sir 

1 Annual Register, pp. 88-93. 2 Parnell Movement, pp. 291-4. 

3 Annual Register, p. 94. 
Vol. Ill 93 



THE >V1 tfMENI 

B that i" Inland the 

i i mi th f the 1 1( ii. F hi thcr, it was notorious 

that m ■ Plan «»i ( ampaign had been adopted there 

tnd all through the a intei md ipi ing 

M. Hicks I i'li had been bi ng pr< >urc to bear on 

landloi ' the arguments founded on all these ia< t ,, even 

when put forth with all th<- authority and eloquence oi Mr. 

ldston< '1 to in. ike any imprr , .i«>n on the Unioni .1 

1 1: . i i the pledges they had made the previous yeai 

a linst ( oercion and voted for the closure, so as to facilitate 
the pa i / of Mi. Balfour's Bill Liberals and Irish opposed 
the measure with determination ; t^u t the* unsparing use of the 
closure] backed up by obedient majorities, made all opposition 

futile, and at last Mr. Gladstone and Mr. l'arncll and their 
followers left the House of (ominous. The Bill was then 
rushed through, and in the end of July became law. 1 

Many I Unionists declared that theycould not support Coercion 
if a Land Hill were not also introduced ; and to satisfy these, 
and carry out the recommendations of Lord Cowper's Com- 
mission, a Land Bill was introduced, and in August be- 
came law. Under pressure from Mr. Chamberlain and Lord 
Randolph Churchill, it was improved in its passage through the 
House of Commons, and in its final shape it admitted lease- 
holders to the benefits of the 1 88 1 Land Act, and provided 
for a revision of judicial rents. Had all this been done twelve 
months before, Mr. Parnell would have been satisfied, and there 
would have been no Plan of Campaign, and need have been 
no Coercion Act. But concessions to Ireland have always 
been too late, and this one, accompanied by a drastic Coercion 
Act, was received with no gratitude in Ireland. 

The year 1887 was a year of Jubilee in England. The 
Queen was then fifty years on her throne. The vast extent of 
territory which she inherited had been still further increased 
during her reign. In Australia and in America were self- 
governing and prosperous colonies, their institutions modelled 
on those of England, their loyalty to her strengthened by the 
1 A?inual Register, pp. 96-99, 105, 109 et seq 






i in Q! BEN'S nriii i 355 

freedom which they enjoyed A mighty and e 
empire in Africa, and In Asia the teeming millions oi India, 
alike owned England's iway, Hei army icattered over I 
earth manned her fortresses, her navy ruled the nd In 

every trading port ships were found with the I \ at 

their mast beads. Not often In human histoi e there luch 

wen- presented in the streets oi London and In 
Westminster Abbey on the m t of June, Seated in the famous 
church to give thanks to God for the length of her reign, the 
( |ueen was surrounded by a crowd of princes of her own blood. 
Kings had come from afar to do her honour, from the various 

countries of Europe, from Persia and China and Japan ; dusky 
princes there were from India arrayed in glittering jewels, 
officers in varied uniforms, judges in scarlet and ermine, 
ambassadors in brilliant attire, peers in their robes, ladies with 
flashing diamonds, all these were gathered together. The houses 
and streets along the route from Buckingham Palace were a 
mass of decorations ; and when darkness came, the illuminations 
everywhere turned night into day in this the richest capital of 
the universe. And in great cities far away the fetes and gaiety 
of London were imitated. 1 Ireland alone took no part in 
these celebrations, but, sullen and discontented, kept sorrowfully 
apart. Her prosperity had not grown with the prosperity of 
England ; her liberties had not been extended like those of so 
many British Colonies ; a Coercion Act was then passing 
through Parliament giving to Ireland a new supply of scourges 
and chains ; and Ireland had not therefore any Jubilee offering 
to make but her poverty and her tears. 

In August the Irish National League was proclaimed under 
the new Coercion Act, and the struggle between Mr. Balfour 
and the Irish leaders began. It was long and bitter. Every 
National League branch in the country was forthwith attacked. 
Its meetings were broken up by police, its rooms or offices 
invaded, its papers and books seized, and the newspapers which 
published its resolutions were prosecuted and their editors 

1 Annual Register, pp. 138-42 ; MacCarthy's History of Our Own 
Times, iii. 333-6 ; Times Report. 



mi .11 G< IMEN1 

imprisoned Resident ma filled with landlord prejudice 

infl on those who attended public meetinj 

.tii> distinction made between them and ordinary 

ind members oi Parliament and newspapei edit 

>lj ed to mix m ith thievi weai the tme i and 

the .same work .md eat the same i'«"i. Police and military 

were drafted round the country at • i < . 1 1 public « and 

the reckle audacity ol some of their officers that a 

tain I aptain Plunkett ordered his men "not to hesitate to 

slu '1 he result WiM many Collisions between people and 

police, and consequent loss of life. At Voughal a young man 
• kbbed to death by a policeman ; at Fermoy the police l>< at 

a man to death ; .it '1 ipperary a man was shot by a policeman 

wh believed to be intoxicated; at Timoleague the police 

fired on a crowd, killing a man ; at Gweedore a police-inspector 
killed ; and a head constable was killed in Clare. 1 A small 
boy was imprisoned for smiling sarcastically at a policeman ; 
another for whistling " Harvey Duff"; a third for cheering for Mr. 
Gladstone ; and a little girl of twelve was sent to jail for being 
one of a crowd of persons who obstructed the sheriff's officers 
when seizing sheep in the interests of a neighbouring landlord. 2 
At Mitchelstown events occurred which attracted world- 
wide attention. A public meeting consisting of several 
thousands was held in the Square of the town on the 9th of 
September 1887, and was addressed by several members of 
Parliament, English as well as Irish. Mr. Dillon was among 
the latter. A Government reporter, under police protection, 
was sent to take down the speeches, and had he come in due 
time all would have been well, for there had hitherto been no 
objection to the presence of such a reporter. But he came 
when the meeting was in progress, accompanied by about 
twenty policemen, who attemped to force a passage through 
the dense crowd. This being found impossible, the reporter 
retired, and soon reappeared accompanied by a greatly increased 
force of police. Confident in their strength and in their arms, 
these police handled the crowd roughly ; the crowd retorted 
1 Annual Register, p. 200. 2 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 523-6. 






nil COERCION mi 0GL1 IN IREU ND 

w nil then -.I i« ,. . , the poll <• ii' d to the Kmu rn It i, ind i 
had thej got within ihelter than they opened fire on the people, 
killing three men. The enraged thousands rushed on the 
barracks and would have wrecked it, and probably ed 

the Uvea oi the police, had not Mr. Dillon and tin 
present intervened A coroner's inqu< I i turned ■ verdid 
w i l tul murdei against the county inspector and three "i the 
policemen; and from the evideno in, it uas quite plain 

that the police were entirely to blame. But no action m 
taken by the Government In England Mr. Gladstone attacked 
both police and Government with vigour. Mr. Balfour replied 
with sneers and sarcasm, and emphatically denied that the 

police were- in any way to blame. 1 

This indeed was his usual custom. He could give no 
tdit for honesty or good intentions to his opponents ; they 
were law-breakers and must be put down. On the other hand, 
no Government official, high or low, could do wrong. The 
judge who, forgetting the ermine he wore, spoke like a Crown 
prosecutor was impartial. The magistrate who inflicted a 
savage sentence on a member of Parliament was merely doing 
his duty. The police-officer who gave a reckless order resulting 
in riot and bloodshed was a conscientious official. The police- 
man who used his baton freely on the heads of inoffensive 
people was zealous to do his work, and deserved the favourable 
notice of his superior officers. Finally, the Attorney-General, 
a Catholic himself, who refused to believe Catholics on their 
oaths, and allowed none to serve on juries, was in high favour 
with Mr. Balfour. Bishops, priests, and representative laymen 
united in protesting against this insult done to their religion, 
but they protested in vain. 2 Jury-packing continued, and the 
Attorney-General in question, whose name was Peter O'Brien, 
was nicknamed in Nationalist newspapers " Peter the Packer." 
Mr. Balfour retorted by praising Mr. O'Brien, and when a 
vacancy arose on the judicial bench, the unpopular law officer 
became Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. 

1 Annual Register, pp. 198-200. 
2 Dr. Counsel's Pamphlet on Jury-packing. Dublin, 1887. 



mi. GOV1 -i 

hii un f ( n Ion and the unstinted praise 

rupuli n nta did nol still the Iri hi toi m ; 

i Mi Balfour, feeling baffled and worsted in the itruggle, 
;ht the aid <'i II:. Holii * he Pope Two pri< 
had al en Impri I anon Kellei of Vbughal and 

Fathei Ryan oi Tipperary. Othen attended public meetii 
and made ipecchcs, and were in lympathy with the National 
Lea I in some '.i e with the Plan of Campaign. 

Shocked al inch conduct, the British Government asked the 
Pope to Interfere and < ompel these ( bristian ministers to de 
from encoun order and illegality. But the Pope, not 

willing to act precipitately, despatched a high ecclesiastic — 

Monsignor Persico — to Ireland to inquire on the Spot PYom 
the first Monsignor Persico was regarded by the Irish 
onalists with distrust. The distrust was deepened when 
he was Been visiting the houses of Catholics who were landlords 
and Unionists. And when in April 1888 a Papal Rescript 
was published condemning the Plan of Campaign and boy- 
cotting, there was strong language used at Irish public meetings 
against Pope and Papal Envoy. The days of O'Connell and 
the Veto were recalled. Mr. Parnell described the Rescript as 
an attempt by the Pope to control the political situation in 
Ireland by right of his supreme spiritual authority. The Irish 
Catholic members of Parliament, while freely acknowledging 
the Pope's right to their obedience in spiritual matters, repudi- 
ated him as a political guide. And they pointed out the 
insufficiency of the reasons given in the Rescript. It was 
declared that tenants entered freely into contracts with their 
landlords ; that the Land Courts were open to them ; that 
funds collected under the Plan of Campaign had been extorted 
from the tenants ; that boycotting was against charity and 
justice. Mr. Dillon and others answered that it was notorious 
that contracts between landlords and tenants were not free, but 
that tenants were at the landlords' mercy ; that Courts manned 
by landlords and agents were not impartial tribunals, and in 
any case were useless to tenants burdened with arrears ; 
that in no case had the Plan been forced on tenants ; and if 



p \r \i. i;i .« i.ii I \«. \i v i THE PL w ( »i I KM? K) 

boycotting and intimidation wttt nol unknown in the Iri b 
agrarian movement, it was the only way in which p< 
.tin ken tenants could defend themselves. What irritated the 
Irish Catholics most was that the I 'ope seemed to hi 
ignored the information obtained from the [risfa Bishops. And 
it annoyed them to see the ( trangi oratoi . who so often < m « d 
the Pope, now prai e him and point the fingei of scorn .it 
these wicked Catholic politicians who received and deserved 
the censure of the Headoftheii Church. 1 

To Consignor Persico grave injustice was done. His 
private letters have since been made public, and show him to 
have had profound admiration for the Irish Catholics, and to 
have been completely in sympathy with Irish National aspira- 
tions ; and he felt pained that he should be considered an 
enemy to Ireland." Mot then by him, but probably by some 
high-placed Englishman — speaking in the name of his Govern- 
ment — had Ireland been attacked. The Pope had great admira- 
tion for England, whose fair-play towards Catholics was in such 
striking contrast to that of the so-called Catholic Government 
of France. He was an old diplomatist and an able one, and if 
he could accede to the wishes of the British representatives, it 
would surely be of service to the millions of Catholics scattered 
throughout the British Empire. And he felt he could do this 
without injury to Ireland, for it was not the Irish National 
movement but its excesses he condemned. Nor could it be 
denied that in isolated cases intimidation and boycotting had 
been needlessly used. Even as a means of bringing about 
reform, it is at least doubtful if the Plan of Campaign was the 
best weapon that could be devised. A plan under which the 
tenants would contribute to an insurance fund, enabling them 
to fight the landlords and sustain the evicted, and expose to 
the world the iniquities of landlordism, would have probably 
succeeded as well ; and such a plan would have broken no law 
and invited no moral reprobation. But the Plan of Campaign, 
initiated by individuals and not by the National Party, could 

1 Annual Register pp. 235-6. 
2 Letters published in United Irishman. 



1 .1 

nol l * 1 1 * l not attain th a Nfational move 

meet, and was publicly disavowed by Mi Parnell. it brought 

«>ii thi* Juhil I 'i Act, embarrassed Mr. Gladstone and 

h I ,ib : i mented th<- I nioti of hii politii 

l by the ol ■ i 013 ( rovernment to 

.1 6, it m 1 ■ In pai I in tiiifd by the I And Act ol 
th 1 follov : But nothi »uld 1 the folly oi 

putting it in force, in the case oi a prosperous town, with th< 
[ucnt ruin which folio rtainlj the Plan bad it 

and in 1888 its terms were accepted on no less than 
thirt) seven estates , which means that the landlords had been 
d to reason and the tenants had been protected from 
injusti* The e victories were duly published But the defeats 
oi the Plan were also apparent ; in the imprisonment of so many 
members of Parliament and others ; in the number of evicted 
tenants who for twenty years weighed like lead on the Irish 
National movement ; in the broken hearts of so many who died 
in poverty and exile ; in the ruined houses of Woodford and 
Luggacurran and in the grass-grown streets of Tipperary. 

In the midst of much talk about the Plan of Campaign, 
and of its good and evil effects, the Coercion struggle in Ire- 
land went steadily on. Newspapers were suppressed, editors 
imprisoned, meetings proclaimed, meetings held in spite of 
proclamations, conflicts between people and police, members of 
Parliament of such standing and character as Messrs. Dillon, 
O'Brien and T. D. Sullivan thrown into jail, 4 and a well- 
known and much-respected Munsterman, Mr. John Mandeville, 
tortured in prison until he died. 5 One result of all this was 
that the Liberals and Irish Nationalists came closer together. 
Prominent English politicians like Lord Ripon and Mr. Morley 
came to Ireland and made speeches ; Mr. Labouchere was 
present at Mitchelstown when the three men were shot by the 
police ; Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, M.P., visited Woodford ; Mr. Blunt 

1 Annual Register, 1888, pp. 109-10. 
2 Davitt, pp. 521-2. 3 Annual Register, p. 235. 

4 Ibid., 1887, p. 201 ; T. D. Sullivan's Recollections of Ti-oubled Times 
in Irish Politics, pp. 236-41. 

5 Annual Register, 1888, pp. 238-9. 






. I l\l I l> ( I »l 

nt tWO m< >iitli . in .111 1 1 ill pi i - -ii , and M i ( Oil) 

M.l\, three month.. Deputations from Liberal A 
•,.iw evictions and i oercion trials ; and English report otc 

in tin- newspapei i, and from pei lonal knowledge, «>f tl»<- grindin \ 
injustice of Irish landlords and of the miseries ol the Irish 
poor. Nor was any speakei at E h elections listened to 
with greater respect than Irish members of Parliament, and 
none received a heartier greeting, The arguments ol Lord 
Hartington and Mi. Goschen, Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. 
Balfour were answered by such able men a Sir William 
Harcourt, Mr. Morley and Sir George Trevelyan. But Mr. 
Gladstone was active and effective above them all. He 
watched the debates in Parliament, In- wrote articles for 
reviews, he received deputations, he spoke to thousands from 

platforms, and everywhere Ireland was his theme. lie dwelt 
with special emphasis on the character of Mr. Balfour's coercion 
regime, lie denounced the conduct of the police and military 
at Ennis ; l and he bade his audience remember Mitchelstown ; J 
and the cry was taken up and re-echoed from a hundred 
platforms. He complained that within little more than a year 
from the passing of the Coercion Act, 21 out of the 85 Irish 
Nationalist members had been imprisoned, and that they had 
been treated like felons — " a shameful, an inhuman, a brutal 
proceeding." He spoke with scathing severity of the way in 
which Mr. Mandeville had been done to death, and boldly 
asserted that the Irish prisons were no better than those of 
Naples in the days of King Bomba. 4 

To all these charges Mr. Balfour made no serious reply ; 
all he could say was that Mr. Gladstone himself had passed 
Coercion Acts, and that the Jubilee Coercion Act was not 
more severe. His speeches were those of a sophist rather 
than of a statesman. He had no anxiety to remove the 
causes of Irish discontent, no apology for all his severity, no 

1 Annual Register^ 1887, PP- 169-70. 2 Ibid., 1887, pp. 159-61. 

8 Ibid., 1888, pp. 155, 158. 

4 Ibid., 1888, pp. 155-60, 163 ; Morley, ii. 618-23. 

5 Annual Register, 1887, pp. 174-5, 1 8 5-6 ; 1888, pp. 119-22. 



mi UNION] r GOVERNMEN1 

ibordinatc , no expression of 

the death of Mi Mandeville. lie appeared to be 

ind to think his work done if In Parliament or on the 

platform h led ovei Mi. Gladstone some barren dialectical 

In the session <>f 1888 hi < . wernmenl extended the 

Ashbourne Ad b ti an additional sum <>f >6 5,000,000; 

but beyond this nothin to be done Anti Irish prejudice 

in England was oi an lent growth and not easily removed, but 

Mi. Balfour's speeches were not satisfying the public, and by 

the end of 1888 the Unionists had begun to Ic e ground. 

Public opinion was still further influenced by events which 

urred early In the n ar; and from the end of 1889 Mr. 

Gladstone could claim, with truth, that he had with him the 

flowing tide 

At the election of 1886 a recently formed Association, 
the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union, had been especially 
active Freely sustained by wealth and privilege on both 
sides of the Channel, by class and the dependents of class, 
it appealed to bigotry and race hatred, to ascendancy and 
distrust of the people, and had for its main end and object 
to defeat Mr. Gladstone's policy of Home Rule. Its Secretary 
was a young Irish barrister named Houston, who certainly 
showed no lack of zeal in the work set him to do. During 
the year 1886, from the printing press under his control, he 
had published and circulated over eleven millions of leaflets. 
Most of these were issued at election times. There were also 
pamphlets, " murder maps," showing the connexion between 
the Land League and National League and crimes of the 
worst kind; extracts from Nationalist speeches; and there were 
100,000 wall-posters issued. 1 Mr. Houston had also sent 
fifty-five speakers to England and Wales. They were not 
scrupulous as to the statements they made, and freely attacked 
the Irish members of Parliament as they grossly exaggerated 
every outrage in Ireland, and painted in vivid colours the 
sufferings of loyal and law-abiding Irishmen at the hands of 
lawless leagues. In this work of defamation Mr. Houston 
1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 500-501. 






HOI wi> PIG< 'i i 

found ■ zealous co-operatoi In the London Timex \\ 

and far-reaching influence, it enormow literary capacity had 

ever been thrown into the? scale against Ireland. It ha. I 

attacked O'Connell, it had attacked John MacHale, it had 

called the Irish priests surpliced ruffians, It had gloated i 

the decimation of the Irish in. is ■.<-, by famine and CI 'ii, 

and now it assailed Parnell ami the movement with which 

he was identified with a vigour and venom which recalled 

the days of O'Connell. 1 

Yet the joint efforts of the Irish Loyal and Patriotic 
Union the LL.P.U. as it was called for brevity — and the 
liffics were not SO successful at the General Elections of 1886 
as they would have wished. The shifting of 1 00,000 V( 
would have meant a great Home Rule victory instead oi 
great defeat Time was on the side of Mr. Gladstone, and 
it looked as if, under the magic of his eloquence, the next 
election would reverse the verdict of its predecessor. But 
if Parnell and his party could be shown to be criminals and 
traitors, in league with assassins and approving of murder, 
English prejudice would be roused, and all Mr. Gladstone's 
eloquence would be in vain. With this object Houston sought 
the aid of a disreputable Irishman named Richard Pigott. 
He was needy and unprincipled, the former proprietor of 
two Fenian newspapers, the Irishman and The Flag of Ireland. 
Houston had been a Dublin reporter, and must have well 
known of Pigott's lack of principle and money. Nor had 
he any difficulty in getting him for the sum of £60 to write 
in 1885 a pamphlet called Parnellism Unmasked? But 
it contained nothing new — nothing but those vague charges 
against the Irish leaders which had been already repeated 
many times on Unionist platforms in Great Britain. What 
was required was documentary evidence, such as would bring 
home the guilt of crime to Mr. Parnell and his friends, and 
blast their reputations before the world. If Pigott could get 
such documents as these he would be well paid, and while 

1 RusselPs Speech at Parnell Commission, pp. 5-8. 

2 Davit fs Speech at "Times" Commission, p. 331. 



PHE UNIONIST i 

i them he- would h iv<- | ■;uui. m .1 d«y and 

fo a man it< eped In debt thli w 
hun . itei to tin- man d) Ing oi thii ■'. 

P and r i to procure the required documents, and 

fa i time spent the time pleasantly travelling from Ireland 
, from Paris to Lausanne, and putting up at the I 
be travelled, In the end oi [886 he had hii ftrsl 
nd in 1888 be had procured two further 
bat Houston bought them all, and then sold them for 

•500 to the Tim 

Relying on the first batch of letters, the Times then 
pro 1 to publish a of articles In the spring of 

1 7 under the heading "Parnellism and (Time." On the 
1 8th of April, the very day on which the second reading 
of the Coercion Hill was to be taken, it went further, and 
published what became afterwards known as the Facsimile 
Letter. It was as follows : — 

I5/5/8S. 

DEAR Sir — I am not surprised at your friend's anger, but he 
and you should know that to denounce the murders was the only 
course open to us. To do that promptly was our best policy. But 
you can tell him and all others concerned that though I regret the 
accident to Lord F. Cavendish, I can't refuse to admit that Burke 
got no more than his deserts. — Yours very truly, 

Chas. S. Parnell. 2 

The date given was but nine days after the Phoenix 
Park murders, and the meaning was that Mr. Parnell was 
apologizing to some confederate for having denounced the 
murders as he had done. If the letter was genuine, Parnell 
was both a criminal and a hypocrite. In the Liberal camp 
there was a feeling of dismay. It was well known that 
Parnell did not love England ; he had certainly met Fenians 
and got subscriptions from them and had some old Fenians 
in his party ; and might it not be that the letter was genuine? 
It was, further, almost impossible that a great journal like the 
Times, the first newspaper in the world, would be so duped. 
1 RusselPs Speech, pp. 530-33. 2 Annual Register, pp. 99-100. 



•' PARN1 i ii M \M> ( RIME ' 

In the House <>i ( '< > 1 1 1 1 1 1 < >n i Mi Pa Hi ell, «»( « "in e, denied 
having written the letter or having any lympathy writh the 
contents. Many plainly disbelieved him. II- told to 

take procccdiii;; . a-ainsl the T$fMU t but he knew the pi 
judice against him in London, and an adverse \ 
would have ruined himself and his movement ; while if he 
had tlu- case tried in Dublin, a verdict In hi >ur would 

be discounted in England. For the e res ons he watched 
and waited. And meantime I ord Salisbury described his 
language of denial in the House of Commons as marked 
l>v callousness, "perhaps even by tolcrana of murder"; at 
the same time denouncing Mr. Gladstone for associating with 
such a man. Lesser men adopted this truculent langua 

The Times continued its articles on " Parnellism and Crime," 
and fresh letters were bought from Houston and duly 
appeared. Thinking that he too was aggrieved by the 
publication of the Times, Mr. F. H. O'Donnell, ex-M.P., 
took an action for libel, but the Times pleaded that there 
was no intention to asperse Mr. O'Donnell's character, and 
a verdict for the defendants was obtained. It was not, 
however, said that the Irish members were guiltless, and in 
point of fact the Times continued to assail them. 1 

At last Mr. Parnell's patience was exhausted, and in July 
1888 he demanded a Select Committee of the House of 
Commons to examine into the authenticity of the Facsimile 
Letter. Instead of this the Government passed an Act 
constituting a Commission of three Judges to inquire into 
the " charges and allegations " contained in " Parnellism and 
Crime." The judges appointed were political partisans ; they 
were to inquire into the whole Irish movement, unlimited as 
to time ; and to take into account what had been the character 
of Irish government as causing discontent, and therefore pre- 
disposing to crime, was placed beyond the scope of the 
inquiry. Further, the whole matter of the Commission was 
settled only after Mr. Walter, the proprietor of the Times y 

1 Vide especially Times for the month of June ; T. D. Sullivan, pp. 
2 \7-$, 251-4. 



1 111 i 1 

: Mi. Smith, the 1 tdei In the Hou e oi ( ommons, 

msulte thcr, and in the inquiry itsell the Attoi 

leading counsel i«>i the Tinas* Nor was there 

when tli»- Commi ision opened It doori in September 

to tin* letters bought from Pigott ( m the contrary, 

the oi cemed to be to make fresh chai ;ains1 the 

l. der, to fish up from the turbid waters oi the pasl 

rthing that could be fished As Sir Char] 
Russell, Mi. Parneirs leading counsel, said, the design was 

to draw up an indi( tun nt against B nation. 1 

Da) alter day an endless procession of witnesses appeared 
— priests, peasants, bishi cretaries of leagues, policemen, 

magistral >wn officials, landlords with a grievance, agents 

and bailiffs to support their landlords. Peasants came from 
the hills of Kerry, from the wilds of Connemara, from the 
mountains of Donegal ; and shopkeepers came from the cities 
and towns ; policemen came to whisper into the ears of the 
Tiuies lawyers secrets that they knew ; police magistrates 
to tell of the disreputable politicians who had been or were 
still the curse of Ireland. The Times 1 solicitors were allowed 
to scour the Irish jails and tempt prisoners with money and 
promises of freedom ; and an informer, who had been a 
member of an American Secret Society, and at the same 
time in the pay of the British Government, had his story 
to tell. 

Not till February 1889 did Pigott step on to the witness's 
table, and then under the searching cross-examination of the 
great Irish lawyer, the whole squalid conspiracy of defamation 
was laid bare. Contradicting himself, perjuring himself at 
every turn, sinking deeper and deeper as he proceeded, the 
wretched agent of Houston, the beads of perspiration standing 
on his forehead, was indeed a pitiable object. He was at last 
run to earth. For two days he stood the awful torture, but 
when his name was called on the third day he did not appear. 
Confessing that he was the forger of all the letters sold to 
Houston, he fled the country, and shot himself dead on the 

1 RusselPs Speech, p. 4. 



PIG( 'II I « )\ -t.| III s <r; 

following day In a hotel at Madrid Hi careci w\ 
of Infamy. As far back as [ 88 1 h<- had got money from 
Mr. Forster because he had attacked the [.and I .* . i ■ u*-, ;m<! 
at the same time asked money of Mr. Kgan, the League 
Treasurer, promising to defend the League; and he had 
obtained money from Dr, Walsh when President of Maynooth 
College. Alter he had forged the Facsimile Letter, but before 
it appeared, he wrote to Dr. Walsh, then Archbishop of 
Dublin, warning him that Parnell was to be attacked and 
that he (Pigott) could save him. The wretched creature had 
no sense of moral rectitude, and in everything he did he 
sought for money. And yet Houston and the Times were 
not less but perhaps were even more to blame. Houst n 

got t he letters, ami blindly accepted Pigott's story that he had 
got them from a man with a black bag, that the first batch 
came from one Murphy and the second batch from Tom Brown. 
With a lawyer's astuteness, however, he destroyed all private 
letters received from Pigott ; and he gave the Times no 
guarantee that the letters delivered to them were genuine. 
The Times, however, had asked no questions, and had greedily 
accepted the letters, paying for them the sum of £2500, so eager 
were they to blast the character of their political opponents. 1 

For some months longer the inquiry lasted. Mr. Parnell 
and many others were examined, and Sir Charles Russell made 
a great speech lasting for seven days, speaking, as he said, not 
only as an advocate, but also for the land of his birth. Then, 
early in 1890, the Judges issued their report. They found 
that the Irish leaders had not incited, approved of, or condoned 
murder, nor consorted with Invincibles ; but that they had not 
sufficiently discountenanced disorder and outrage, and that they 
had even preached intimidation. As if, indeed, the British 
Parliament had ever conceded anything to Ireland except as the 
result of disorder and violence. 2 The more disreputable of the 
Unionists professed to discover in these findings a damaging 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 197-234 ; Morley, ii. 638-50 ; RusselPs Speech 
before Commission ; Davit fs Speech before Commission ; T. D. Sullivan, pp. 
257-62, 271. 2 Annual Register, pp. 35-39. 



rHE UNION] i m 

mnation o( the Iri h leadei Bui the authenticity ol the 

Lcttei ed the Important question, and 

de Parliament the discovery oi Pigott'i ri< 

very fail minded man as .t great victory foi 

i The Twns was glad to etth a libel action taken 

the Irish l ead< i by the payment oi o, 1 and in 1889 

.md 1 : '■/■ Pamell was th* hero oi the hour. In the House ol 

I 1 ii.i :tn ti 1 i.k «.t Pigott, he was greets d by the 

whole Liberal part)' with enthu a m, the members waving their 

ha1 At dinnei at the Eighty Club, when he and Lord 

ncer publicly shook hands, the members cheered again and 

.t .mi, and when he n < to speak they all sprang to their feet 

LVing their napkins above their heads. 
At St. James's Hall, on the same platform with Mr. Morlcy, 
he was received "with tremendous enthusiasm."' 5 In July he 
ived the freedom of the City of Edinburgh/ In November 

he was the central figure at a great Liberal meeting at Notting- 
ham. The following month he was Mr. Gladstone's guest at 
liawarden, whence he drove to a great meeting at Liverpool. 
And in the new year his popularity remained. The change 
in public opinion had indeed come, and was reflected in the 
steady diminution of the Government majority in Parliament, 
and in their continued losses at by-elections. In 1887, when an 
amendment to the Address was moved on the Irish question, 
the Unionist majority was 106. In the next year it fell to 
88; in 1889 to 79; and in 1890 to 6y. 6 Nothing in the 
latter year was wanting but a General Election to ensure the 
return of Mr. Gladstone to power, and with that event the 
triumph of Home Rule. But once again the fates were 
unpropitious to Ireland ; her bright hopes were not to be 
realized, and from out the mists and shadows of the immediate 
future it was defeat rather than victory that loomed. 

1 Annual Register, 1890, p. 26. 2 Ibid., 1889, p. 32. 

3 Ibid. 74. 4 Ibid. 16 1-4. 

5 Ibid. 256-60. 6 Ibid., 1890, p, 40. 



CHAPTER XVI 

l In- Fall of Parmll 

In tin- exciting times immediately preceding and immediately 
Following the Phoenix Park murders, Mr. Parnell and Mr. 

Chamberlain were often in aeeord on public questions. Both 
opposed flogging in the army ; both disliked Forster and his 
Coercion regime in Ireland; and both, in 1885, agreed that 
there should be further concessions to Ireland. Political 
sympathy often brought them together in social intercourse, 
and Mr. Chamberlain had therefore many opportunities of 
estimating the character of the Irish leader. He was, he said, 
a good business man, a really great man, and especially a great 
Parliamentarian. But he thought him unsocial, rather dull and 
uninteresting, with no small talk and poor conversational powers. 1 
His estimate was correct. Mr. Parnell had little taste for social 
intercourse ; he was of a rather thoughtful and retiring dis- 
position. He exercised, however, a certain amount of influence 
over many women with whom he was brought into contact ; he 
was not a misogynist ; and — unfortunately for himself and for 
Ireland — he had other overmastering passions than ambition 
and pride. His own sister records that, while a young man at 
Cambridge, he was responsible for the ruin of a trusting girl 
who lived with her father on the banks of the Cam. 2 At a 
later period he was fascinated by an American girl, to whom 
he proposed marriage ; but the lady, at first accepting, finally 
rejected his suit, 3 and subsequently he never at any time 
till 1 89 1 seriously contemplated marriage. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 13 1-2. 
8 Airs. Dickenson's A Patriot's Mistake. 
3 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 207-8. 
Vol. Ill 369 94 



l in I ILL I 'i PARNI l.l 

Unfortunately, however, itracted an illicit attachment 

whU h had a blightin • influent e on hi i i areei The lady, who 

to a d ui hed English family, was the wife <>i an 

Irishman, I aptain O'Shea. In 1880 O'Shea was elected M.I'. 

and was one <>i th ho voted for Mr. Parnell as 

chairman <>r the Irish Party In preference to Mr. Shaw. 

Parnell and :a were thus brought together, and thus it 

was tint the former met Mrs. O'Shea. Mastered by a fatal 

[nation, both fell, and in the years subsequent to 1881 the 

life a life Of -in 

There is deep pathos in the words oi Mr. John Parnell 

lu- DCS the change which came over his brother. Wearied 

by <\ai ting public affairs, the Irish leader was wont to rush 
back from London to Avondale. He loved his beautiful 
Wick low home, and in the woods and fields around he shot 
and fished and rode and talked to the workmen and was happy. 
Then there was a change. Round Mrs. O'Shea he hovered as 
the moth does round the candle, and to her home at Eltham 
he bent his way instead of crossing the sea. And he forgot 
his duty to Ireland as he forgot Avondale. This is not denied 
by his able and sympathetic biographer, always anxious as he 
is to shield Mr. Parnell's memory from reproach. He confesses 
"frankly and fully" that during the years 1882-1884 "there 
were weeks and months which he (Parnell) could have spent in 
Ireland, to the immense advantage of the National movement, 
but for his unfortunate attachment." l The struggle in Ireland 
was then fierce and bitter, and Mr. Parnell's presence and 
assistance on many occasions would have given fresh courage 
to the harassed combatants on the Nationalist side. In Parlia- 
ment also his constant attendance would have done much. 
His fighting powers were great, and had he watched and waited 
in Parliament and struck home at the critical moment, as he 
alone knew how, the Coercionist Government of Mr. Gladstone 
would have ended long before the summer of 1885. 

As early as 1881 Captain O'Shea's suspicions were aroused. 
Returning from London to his home at Eltham, he found Mr. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. T65. 



PARN1 i.i. \M> mm I t'SHEAS 

Parnell there, and was «> em.i ;<<i tli.it h<- .cut him a <hallcn 
Hut Mrs. O'Shea'a protestations "i Inno nee dispelled I 
husband's suspicions, and the old cordial relations between tin- 
two irishmen w ere re turned. 1 In Che i ear 
prominent in the negotiations which ended in the Kilmainham 
Treaty. As a close personal friend of Mr. < !hambcrlain, he « 
able to obtain [)crmission to Mr. Parnell in prison He 
had interviews with Mr. Forster, and he ponded with 
both Mr. Gladstone and Mr, Chamberlain, the result of all 
being the political ruin of Forster and the Liberation ol ParnelL 
Beyond his share in these events < t'Shea's publi 
not important He was but a nominal Home Ruler, unwilling 
to take the Irish Party pledge, and when the General Election of 

[885 came, he disappeared from Parliament. In the next year 
he reappeared Mr. T. P. O'Connor had been returned for a 
division of Liverpool as well as for Galway City, and having 
elected to sit for Liverpool, Galway became vacant. A capable 
and strongly supported local candidate came forward in the person 
of Mr. Lynch. But Mr. Parnell insisted on having Captain 
O'Shea. Mr. Biggar and Mr. Healy, however, refused to acquiesce 
in this selection, and went to Galway to support Lynch. They 
were behind the scenes, and knew that giving Galway to O'Shea 
was the price paid for Mrs. O'Shea's virtue, and they thought 
the price paid too high. For Captain O'Shea was not the 
stamp of man that an Irish Nationalist constituency would care 
to have as its representative. But Parnell was determined. 
He came to Galway accompanied by Mr. O'Connor and Mr. 
Sexton ; told the people that the rejection of O'Shea would 
mean the loss of Home Rule ; and told Mr. Biggar and Mr. 
Healy that he would fight it out at all costs, even if the people 
of Galway kicked him through the streets. The horror of 
dissension on the very eve of the introduction of Gladstone's 
Home Rule Bill silenced opposition. Mr. Biggar was unyield- 
ing, but Mr. Healy yielded ; Mr. Lynch also withdrew, and 
Captain O'Shea became M.P. for Galway. His gratitude 
consisted in following the lead of Mr. Chamberlain, and in 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 162-3. 



U i u.i. OJ PARK] i 
refutln ■: id i i the I lome Rule 

Bill. 1 At tl F 1 H ' .i « audi 

i any In titll< n< y, and diil in it again sit in l'ailia- 

•it , but in the that followed he continued to Intrigue 

with Mr, Chamberlain, and finally effected the ruin of Home 
Rul 

Meanwhile Mi. Parnell continued his relations with Mi 

ro be iK-.il ber he to It a house at Eltham; for hei 

• be i: d in. public duties, lit.- seldom appeared in 

Parliament In the I I >ught struggle with Mr. Balfour in 

Ireland be took no part He found fault with the Plan of 

i, though be took no pains to devise any better means 

ting the tenants. ll<- grew jealous of Mr. Dillon ^nd 

Mr. O'Brien, and thought they wished to supplant him ; but he 
• that they were left without his guidance, and owed their 
commanding position to his neglect. Holding aloof from his 
party, his movements stealthy, his residence unknown, his 
leadership gradually became a nullity, and in times of stress and 
difficulty his followers were left to shift for themselves. 

The explanation of all this came at last. In December 
1889 Captain O'Shea filed a petition for divorce, alleging his 
wife's adultery with Mr. Parnell. There were adjournments 
and delays, and not until November of the following year did 
the case come on. Then the story of Parnell's hidden life was 
disclosed to an astonished world. It was a shameful story — a 
story of duplicity and treachery, of the betrayal of friendship, 
of the violation of vows, of the desecration of home, of the 
sundering of sacred ties. Not a single gleam of heroism or 
romance lighted up, even for a moment, the dreary record of 
unquenchable lust. A man of mature years, a lady well past 
her prime, had forgotten everything but their own lawless love. 
Deaf to the call of duty, to the voice of patriotism, to the 
stern commands of moral obligation, the trusted leader had 
betrayed his trust ; and turning his back on Ireland, sought the 
unhallowed embraces of one whom even the clinging love of 

1 Fall of Feudalism, pp. 501-3 ; O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 122-8 ; T. D. 
Sullivan, pp. 191-6. 






PARN1 i.i. S i'« ISITION \iiii i hi \>\\ OR< i \1 \ 

hildren was unable to hold bai There wras not and could 
iu>t be any defence In the Divon ( >urt, and <»n tl>< 17th «.i 
November .1 decree ol dissolution <>f marriage afa • 1 Lied. 

In Ireland both party and people were bewildered Mr. 
Parnell 's services were great He had compelled the British 
Parliament to listen and to concede; he had wrung from it ■ 
Land Act, an Arrears Act, a Franchise Ad ; and now 1 great 
English party, headed by the great I man of modern 

times, was pledged to give back to [reland her Parliament 

The man who had humbled the London limes in the dust v. 

one of whom the whole Irish race was proud, and in gratitude 

for what he had done, irishmen were ready to sustain him even 
in spite of his moral delinquencies. If they threw him aside 
division and discord would arise. Parnell was the damp that 
held discordant elements together. Peasant and priest, artisan 
and merchant, Constitutionalist and Fenian had joined hands 
under his rule, and now if he were repudiated Ireland would 
become a prey to strife. It would be as if the winds of 
/Eolus were let loose. Old antagonisms would be revived, and 
the reign of faction would begin. Thus reasoned millions of 
Irishmen at home and abroad, who knew the blessings of 
union, and knew what Ireland had suffered from dissension in 
the past. And there were millions also who believed that 
Parnell was innocent, and that the divorce case was only a 
new attempt to blast his reputation. O'Shea was known to 
be an intriguer in close touch with Chamberlain and the Times, 
Ireland's bitterest enemies, and from these plotters the charges 
in the Divorce Court came. And if Parnell offered no 
defence, it was because he was biding his time. He was 
waiting till his proofs were ready, and then he would over- 
whelm his enemies as he had overwhelmed Pigott and the 
Times. The Irish Party had no such illusions as these, for 
they were painfully conscious of Parnell's guilt. But they 
dreaded what would follow if his guiding hand were removed ; 
they were only politicians with no authority to decide moral 
questions, and as politicians they thought it best to stand by 
their old leader. Hence it was that at a great meeting in the 



I 111 I Al.l. 01 i mm LL 

i Hal), Dublin, they renewed their allegiance to Mr. 

ell. 

In the pi tembei Mi isrs. Dillon and O'Brien had 

n prosecuted at Tipperary for inciting Mr. Smith Barry'i 

not I rent 1 hey hit the country for Prance, 

whence t tit t<> America, and in then absence were tried 

l sente nc ed t months' impri onment 1 Mr. Harrington, 

Mi 1 P CyConnOT and Mr. T. \). Sullivan soon joined them 

in An ; and in November all these gentlemen w 

d on behalf of the Irish Party, addressing meetings and 
obtaining liberal donations for the Irish National cause. Like 
their brethren at home they resolved to stand by Parnell, and 
telegraphed to the Leinster Hall meeting that they did so "in 
the profound conviction that Parnell's statesmanship and 
matchless qualities as a leader are essential to the safety of our 
cause." Mr. T. D. Sullivan alone refused to sign the telegram, 
the reading of which evoked loud cheers in the Leinster Hall. 
Mr. MacCarthy, at the same meeting, could see no reason why 
l'arnell should not continue to lead the Irish Party and the Irish 
people to victory. Mr. Healy declared that they were not going 
to surrender the great chief who had led them so long and so 
successfully ; and he warned off all interfering meddlers by 
requesting that they were not to speak to the man at the 
wheel. The Freeman s Journal approved of and adopted this 
language, and to the National League offices in Dublin 
resolutions of confidence in Parnell from all parts of Ireland 
came pouring in. 2 

Across the Channel, however, ominous growls were heard. 
As might have been expected, the Times gloated over the 
disgrace of its great antagonist. The Standard scoffed at the 
notion that such a man should continue to lead any party. 3 
The Daily Telegraph declared it was in no mood to exult in 
the disgrace of " a political adversary whose abilities and 
prowess it was impossible not to respect," but that Parnell 

1 Annual Register, pp. 273-5. 
2 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 239-46; T. D. Sullivan, pp. 281-2. 
3 Annual Register, p. 232. 



PARNELL wi> HIS « RITK .575 

should retire, at least fol .1 tunc 1 Thr les .«t li-dit > amonj.; the 

Unionist organs followed the lead of the London journals — 
some with the dignity and tell restraint of the Daily TtUgrapk % 
and others with the vindictive animosity oi the Tinus, On ti" - 
Libera] side their was greatei reluctance to interfere. It i 
recognized that the iiish had the best right to choose their 
own leader. 1 >i it English Dissenters and Scotch Presbyterians 
had also the right to say that they would no longer co-operate 
with Parnell. Intolerant of Catholicity the Nonconformists 
are, but they deeply reverence the sanctity of marriage and 

the purity of domestic- life; and they were shocked at M 1 . 
Parn ell's utter disregard of all moral restraint. Mr. Stead 
emphatically declared that he should go if Home Rule was 

to be saved. The Rev. Mr. Price Hughes, a distinguished 

Dissenting clergyman, was even more emphatic and more 
severe. At a meeting of the National Liberal Federation on the 

2 1st of November the views of Mr. Hughes and Mr. Stead were 
adopted, and Mr. Morley and Sir William Harcourt, who were 
present, had to report to Mr. Gladstone that Parnell's leader- 
ship had become impossible. 2 Mr. Davitt, taking the same 
view as Mr. Stead, called on Parnell to make a sacrifice in 
return for the many sacrifices the Irish people had made for 
him. He asked no more than this : that he should efface 
himself for a brief period from public life. 3 

Mr. Parnell remained tranquil and unmoved in presence of 
the gathering storm. He seems to have thought that the 
Divorce Court proceedings had no concern for the public ; it 
was a purely personal matter in no way affecting his public 
position. Mr. Davitt, before the case was tried, had asked 
him if the charges were true, and Mr. Parnell, while clearly 
resenting being questioned in the matter, assured him that all 
would be well. 4 The very day on which the decree of divorce 
was pronounced Parnell issued his usual summons to the Irish 
Party for the approaching session of Parliament. And he laid 
special stress upon the necessity for the attendance of every 

1 Morley, ii. 670. - O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 246-7. 

3 Annua! Register, p. 234. 4 Fall of Feudalism, pp. 636-7. 



nil i iLL OF P/ 11 LL 

man upon the opening da it i unquestionable that the 

con ion will l>< <>t combat from fit I to last, and 

tii | ml Upon it • « OUI <- " ' 1 li« next da)- the 

Journal had a paragraph, evidently inspired by Mr. 

nell, announcing thai he had no intention of retiring from 
i ition permanently 01 temporaril) Hi olution in 

hold on wm • no doubt itrengtheni d by the loud profe sion ■ ol 
devotion uttered -it tin- Leinstei Hall meeting, and perhap 
still more by the rancorous rhetork <»f so many British 

nconformist orators, denouncing his conduct in unmeasured 
terms, and demanding his instant dismissal from public life. 
\ 1 had he any explanation to give <a any apology to offer 

on the 25th oi November, when the Irish Tarty with but one 
dissentient elected him as usual their sessional chairman. 3 

Meanwhile, however, Mr. Gladstone had taken decisive 
on. From the first his views were those of the Daily 
Telegraph that Parnell should retire, at least for a time.' He 
recognized the difficulties of the Irish people, seeing that 
Parnell's services to Ireland were so great. And he saw that 
the Divorce Court revelations had shocked the moral sense of 
Great Britain, though he refused himself to speak on the moral 
question. He was a politician, and his duty was to watch and 
wait and note the trend of public opinion. Nor did he say a 
word publicly for days. But when from a hundred platforms 
and from many hundreds of pulpits Parnell had been attacked, 
when the Liberal Federation had declared against him and 
Liberal candidates refused to face the electors in co-operation 
with such a man, when every post brought letters of protest 
and denunciation, Gladstone could no longer hesitate. 

Returning to London on the 24th of November, he saw Mr. 
Justin MacCarthy ; Mr. Parnell had consulted him and even 
offered to resign his seat after the Phcenix Park murders ; and 
Gladstone now expected some message from him, seeing that 
they were both working for Ireland, and in joint command of 
the Home Rule army. But Mr. MacCarthy knew nothing of 

1 Davitt, p. 638. 2 O'Brien, ii. 240. 

'-'• T. D. Sullivan, p. 285. 4 Morley, ii. 670. 



GLADSTON1 l LETTER ^77 

Parnell's Intentions The following day tru Irish Part) 
to elect their lessional chairman, and Mr. Gladston< d Mi 

irthy to warn Mr. Parnell of hii (Gladstone's) viem , thai 
Is, •• ii he should not find that Mi. Parnell contemplated 

spontaneous action " ; and further h«-a.K«-«i Mr. M.i<< .nthy as 
.1 last resort to Inform the Irish Part)'. Mr. Gladstom 
addressed .1 letter to Mr, Morley asking him to communicate 
with Parnell But the latter could not be found. The fad 
was, in* had already resolved on his course and deliberately 
kept away, At the last moment, just as the Irish Party 
meeting was about being held, Mr. MacCarthy saw him and gave 
him Gladstone's message. Parnell, however, declared he would 

not retire, and a tew minutes later he was unanimously elected 
sessional chairman. With a negligence which, in the light of 
subsequent events, might almost be called a crime, Mr. 
MacCarthy had not told the party of his interview with Mr. 
Gladstone, and they elected Parnell ignorant of what had been 
taking place behind the scenes. 

Ou his side, though he had made every effort, Mr. Morley 
had been unable to see Mr. Parnell ; nor did he see him till the 
meeting of the Irish Party had taken place. He then read 
him Mr. Gladstone's letter. But he found him obdurate. He 
expected, he said, to be attacked by Gladstone, and he thought 
it right that Gladstone's letter should be published — " it would 
set him right with his party " ; but for himself, having been 
already elected chairman by the Irish Party, he would not 
retire even for a single day. If he retired at all he would 
retire for good. Mr. Morley urged in the kindest and gentlest 
manner, and as a personal friend, that a different course was 
best ; but Parnell was not to be moved. Then, and only then, 
when remonstrance and entreaty and argument and appeal 
were seen to be in vain, it was decided by Mr. Gladstone to 
publish his letter. Those who were prompted by faction rather 
than by patriotism, by personal attachment rather than by 
principle, described the letter as English dictation. The terms 
of the letter are the best contradiction to this absurd and 
mischievous accusation. There was nothing to wound Mr. 



l ill l ALL "i i \i.\i I 

Parncll's feeli I *) oi command It was only 

v from tin- watch-towei that .til was not well, 
wan i in | that the ship a a being hurried on the rocks. 
l hi • . i i uil to h<- made publii il only Mr. 

Parnell 1 1 . *.t l had ti, d sen e and the patriotism to take it 

in the friendly spirit in which it was written. It recorded Mr. 
conviction that "notwithstanding the splendid 
rendered by Mr. Parnell to his country, his con- 
tinuance at the present moment in the leadership would be 
productive o! iquences disastrous in the highest degree to 

the cause of Ireland." It would render Mr. Gladstone's reten 
tion of the Liberal leadership, "based as it has been mainly 
upon the promotion <>f the Irish cause, almost a nullity." ! 

The publication of this letter on the evening of the 25th 
filled the Irish Tart}' with dismay. Had the existence of such 
a letter been known in time it would certainly have affected 
their decision in reference to the election to the chair. It was 
now plain that Parnell's leadership would mean the breaking 
up of the Liberal Alliance, on which the hopes of Home Rule 
depended ; it was equally plain that Parnell had known of 
Gladstone's wishes and had deliberately disregarded them ; 
that, therefore, he would continue in the leadership as long 
as he could ; and that in fighting the battle out, as he evidently 
intended, his election to the chair had greatly strengthened his 
position. The situation, however, must be faced. A mistake 
of the worst kind had been made. But if a man finds that he 
has taken the wrong road, it is only a fool who will refuse to 
turn back. In obedience, then, to a requisition signed by several 
of the party, Mr. Parnell summoned a meeting on the 29th. 
The meeting was held in the House of Commons, in Com- 
mittee Room No. 15, and this room soon became the centre 
of attraction for the political world, the proceedings of Parlia- 
ment then sitting being in comparison completely ignored. 
Differences of opinion at once manifested themselves. Some 
wanted Parnell to retire without delay ; others advised him 
to stick to his guns and stand no dictation from an English 
1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 670-81. 



I ill IRISH II \M RSHIP 
Party leader I'arncll hiinsell sal .ilent and listened. Ou 

to see that a majority of the party were against him, Ik ted 
time to influence public opinion outside, and adjourned the 
meeting to Monday the ist ot December. In the Interval 
Mr. Davitt published an AppaU to the Irish RaaXo repudiate 
a leader who had not the patriotism to efface hhn ell for his 
country's good. Messrs, Dillon, O'Brien and T. i\ ( >'< onnor 
cabled from America that they could no longer support a 
leader bent on destroying every chance ol Home Rule. Dr. 
Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, and Dr. Walsh, Archbi hop ol 

Dublin, who had vainly advised his retirement in private, now 

spoke out publicly. The former declared that if I'arnell 

remained the elections would be lost, the Irish Party damaged, 

and the public conscience outraged. And Dr. Walsh declared 
that the party that retained him as a leader "could no longer 
count upon the support, the co-operation and the confidence 
of the Bishops of Ireland." These two distinguished prelates 
merely anticipated the pronouncement of the whole episcopacy 
which soon followed, and in which Parnell was denounced as 
one who had attained " a scandalous pre-eminence in guilt and 
shame. " 8 

Any other man would have bent before the storm, but 
there was no limit to Parnell's selfishness and pride. As he 
could not rule he w r ould ruin the Irish cause, and on the 29th 
of November the newspapers contained a manifesto from him 
" To the People of Ireland." Charging a majority of his party 
with having their integrity and independence sapped by Liberal 
wire-pullers, he felt constrained to appeal from them to the 
people. Then he proceeded to divulge the substance of the 
private interviews he had had with Mr. Gladstone and Mr. 
Morley in the previous year, with reference to the next Home 
Rule Bill. The Irish members, he said, were to be retained 
at Westminster, but reduced in number to 32 ; the British 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 256. 

2 Annual Register, p. 276 ; Stead's Article in Review of Reviews, 
December 1890; T. D. Sullivan's Recollections, pp. 298-9; copy of 
Bishops' Resolutions. 



1 111. i u.i. OF 1 li. 

Pai j Id make no lerioui effort to settle the Irish 

nd question, noi would th<- powei to do bo !>«• given to the 

proposed Irish Parliament; the appointment of Irish judj 
uld be ed to the Imperial authority, and bo alio would 

the control ol the Irish police, though the maintenance ol the 

Lit! I he- from Irilh funds. li<- told Of Mr. Morley's 

pair of being able to do anythiri 'Ik* Plan ol Campaign 

tenant-.. Finally, he told how Mr. Morley had su I thai 

Parnell himself should, In the next I lome Rule Government, 

fill the office Of Chief Secretary for Ireland, while one of the 
I National members should become one of the chief law 

officers of the Crown. Mr. Parnell was virtuously indignant at 
the iniquity of such | proposal, for his anxiety always had 
p his party Independent. " I do not believe," he 

I in conclusion, "that any action of the Irish people in 
supporting me will endanger the Home Rule cause, or postpone 
the establishment of an Irish Parliament ; but even if the 
danger with which we are threatened by the Liberal Party of 
to-day were to be realized, I believe that the Irish people 
throughout the world would agree with me that postponement 
would be preferable to a compromise of our national rights by 
the acceptance of a measure which would not realize the 
aspirations of our race." Mr. Justin MacCarthy saw this mani- 
festo on the night of the 28th, and implored Mr. Parnell not 
to publish it ; but his remonstrances were unavailing, and on 
the following day it appeared. It was a discreditable document 
written by a desperate man ; by a man whose heart had been 
hardened by long-continued sin. 1 

The attack on his Parliamentary colleagues came with 
specially bad grace from one who for years had notoriously 
neglected his Parliamentary duties ; and the charge that their 
independence had been sapped was grossly unjust when applied 
to a part}- many of whom were poor, but not one of whom 
had accepted or solicited any Government office. Equally- 
unjust and untrue were his accusations against Mr. Gladstone 
and Mr. Morley. Mr. Gladstone denied that he made the 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 258-66. 



rin IRISH i.i \i»i i Mm- 

statement attributed to liim, "in anything resembling them/ 
What took place was .1 men friendly Interchange o! vie 
* The conversation between us," he said, M wai strictly confi- 
dential, and in my judgment, and, i I undei itood, in that of 
Mi. Parnell, to publish even a true account Is to break the 
seal of confidence which alone renders political ration 

possible:" Mr. Morley's denials were equally prompt and 
emphatic. 1 Nor was it forgotten that immediately after his 
interview with Mr. Gladstone in December [889 Mr. Parnell 

had gone to Liverpool, where at a -i at public meeting he had 

lauded Mr. Gladstone to the skies. Calling him M our grand 

old leader," he hade his own countrymen rejoice, "for we arc 
on the safe path for our legitimate freedom and our future 
prosperity." J If Gladstone was betraying Ireland this was 
not the language to use ; and the man who did use it, and 
twelve months later denounced Gladstone whom he had praised, 
was not one to be trusted or believed. 

These events rent the Irish Party in two. Against Mr. 
Parnell were arrayed its ablest men, those who had gone 
through the storm and stress of battle, and could point to 
important work done for Ireland. On the other hand, in the 
minority which clung to him, there was not a single man of 
first-class ability except Mr. John Redmond. Some were 
landlords who viewed with disfavour the recent rapid curtail- 
ment of landlord rights, and who in their hearts did not regret 
the break-up of a party which, when united, had been so 
powerful an instrument for reform. Others were Fenians 
imperfectly weaned from physical force weapons to constitu- 
tional action, and whose dominating idea was hatred of 
England. A good proportion were men of no political 
capacity, destitute alike of experience or foresight, men unable 
to distinguish between principles and catch-cries. Finally, a 
few of the more able, such as Mr. Redmond and Mr. Harrington, 
allowed their feelings to direct their course, and forgot their 
duty to Ireland in their personal attachment to Mr. Parnell. 
These would have eagerly welcomed his voluntary retirement. 
1 Annual Register, pp. 240-42. 2 Morley, ii. 687 note. 



i ill i ai.i 01 PA1 I] ii. 
the majority hail no dc in t<» humiliate him. (iiateful 

, they wished to treat him tenderly; jealous 

bii t-m. ndeavoured to tave him from himself. They 

appealed t" him foi the I ind ; i<>i the of the 

I tenants who would be left without homes and without 

hop- h only he would retire i"i iix months they would leave 

the return ; and meantime he could leave 

the m stent of the party t<> <t committee, every member 

a huh could be appointed by himself. It was all in vain. 
llld move him ; nothing COUld serve to neutralize 
the effect of that fatal witi hery which had darkened his intellect 
and completely dominated his will. 1 

In the long debates in Committee Room No. 15, the 
Speaking on both sides was often of a high order. Mr. Parnell 
ls in the chair, but he made little pretence of being impartial. 
lie regarded the fight as a matter of life and death, and during 
these days showed infinite dexterity and resource. In oratory 
and debating power he was no match for such brilliant men as 
Mr. Sexton and Mr. Healy. But in using his position in the 
chair to help his friends, in discovering expedients for prolong- 
in- the debates and delaying a final decision, he often defeated 
their best efforts. From his own conduct, which was the cause 
of all the trouble that had arisen, he cleverly diverted attention 
to the conduct of the Liberal leaders, to the inconsistencies of 
members of the Irish Party, to the character of the next Home 
Rule Bill. He taunted his opponents with having first elected 
him and then turned on him at the bidding of an English 
statesman. He charged Mr. Healy with ingratitude, seeing 
that it was he himself who had first discovered Mr. Healy 's 
genius and given him the opportunity of advancing in the world. 
He expressed his readiness to retire if only adequate assurances 
regarding the next Home Rule Bill could be got from the 
Liberal leaders. He professed entire disinterestedness, main- 
taining that his responsibility was to the Irish people, and his 
anxiety only about Ireland. At last, after days of wearisome 
and exhausting delay, when every expedient had been tried by 
1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, p. 643. 



Tin KILKENM ELECTION 

Mr. Parnell, and when be stubbornly M-iu.ed to take a vote, 
the majority of tin- party left Room No. 15. Retiring to an 
adjoining room, they <•!<•< t<-<i m i. m h < larthy nal 1 hairman, 

in ; him a committee ol the ( hid membei • .1 1 an Advi lory 
Council. They were in all 45; counting the American 
delegates they were 50; tin- remainder, over ><> in number, 
clung to Mr. Parnell He maintained thai in- was still chair- 
man, not having been formally deposed , and he flung at his 
opponents the epithet of SecedersJ 

The battle was then transferred to Ireland, where an 
opportunity had just arisen for testing the strength of the 

opposing hosts. Before the split a vacancy had occurred in 

the representation of North Kilkenny, and with Mr. Parnell's 
approval, the candidate selected was Sir John Pope Hcnnessy, 
a distinguished Corkman who had filled the position of Governor 
of the Mauritius and also of Hong Kong. As a Catholic he 
refused to follow Parnell after his condemnation by the Bishops, 
though he was still willing to stand as the Anti-Parnellite 
candidate. Mr. Parnell, who had declared that he would hunt 
the Seceders from public life, put up as his candidate Mr. 
Vincent Scully, a popular Tipperary landlord, and on the 10th 
of December arrived in Dublin to support his nominee. He 
had little doubt that he would be victorious, and undoubtedly 
the forces on his side were formidable. The Freeman 's Journal 
threw its enormous influence into the scale in his favour, and 
day after day bitterly and unscrupulously attacked his opponents. 
Its evening and weekly editions, circulating in every town and 
village in the land, were on the same side. United Ireland, 
established by Nationalist funds, Mr. Parnell also captured. 
Accompanied by a boisterous mob he broke into the offices, 
crowbar in hand, nor was any attempt made to stop him by 
the police. All Dublin was with him. Mr. Healy and Mr. 
Sexton, on landing at Kingstown from England, were watched 
and in imminent danger, and as they walked the streets of 
Dublin they carried their lives in their hands. The National 

1 The "Parnell Split," from the Times, 1891 ; The Story oj Room 
Fifteen, by Donal Sullivan, M.P. 



mi i u.i 0] r \i.\i i L 

I ontrolled by the Parnellite Mi. Harrington, was al >> 

dient to the duly-elected chairman of the Irish Party. And 

when Mi I'ii im 11 add i • meeting .it the Rotunda, hii 
on \>y an enormous i rowd wa i i i ene ol wild enthusiasm, 

He told his immen e audience that what Dublin said to-day, 
land uouM r, to-morrow , and as he passed southward to 
rk, on his way to Kilkenny, he was met at every wayside 

station by cheering crowds. 1 His main reliance was on the 

Fenian They had little love for him while he was chief of 
titutional party, for he had won over many from 

their rani titutional waw Put when he was bent On 

substituting division for unity, and so discrediting all Parlia- 
mentary effort, the}- Rocked to him and fought his battles. 
And in Kilkenny and elsewhere they organized his meetings 
and intimidated his Opponents. The soldiers of Napoleon, 
when entering on a new campaign, laughed at the idea of 
defeat, and at Kilkenny an equal confidence was shown by the 
supporters of Mr. ParnelL The editor of the Frtematfs Journal 
boasted to an Anti-Parnellite that they had the Chief, the funds, 
the press, " and we will knock hell out of you." 2 

The Chief was indeed worth much. His activity and 
vigour were astonishing. He passed from one end of the 
constituency to the other like a whirlwind, smiting his 
opponents as he passed. He attacked Pope Hennessy ; he 
called Healy a scoundrel and a traitor, Davitt a jackdaw, 
Dillon a peacock, and others the scum of creation. 3 The 
Freeman's Journal reported all his speeches fully, and supported 
him by every lying tale which it could invent. United Ireland, 
under its Parnellite management, published a cartoon of Davitt 
receiving a bag of gold from perfidious Albion, while Erin, 
stricken with grief, shaded her eyes rather than look on at this 
deed of shame. The landlords and agents everywhere gave 
their good wishes to Parnell, and on the same side were the 
bailiffs and grabbers ; the policeman who was wont freely to 

1 O'Brien, ii. 290-8 ; Annual Register, p. 276. 

2 Healy, Why Ireland is not Free, p. 33. 

3 Healy, p. 34. 



i 111 i n 'i i < m.\i. \i GOTIAT10 

use his baton ; the publican who wanted more .]. •< tions .md 
more faction fight • <■ that his whisky and port< i would !><• the 
more liberally consumed j and the public sinnei who had perhaps 
fell the chastising hand of the Church and wished to be 
revenged upon the priest On the othei hand, Davit! and 
1 Icily Fought well, and with the intimate knowledge they 
possessed they were able to expose the false statements of 
their opponents, The priests (.died on the people to foi 
an impenitent adulterer, and to vindicate the good name oi 
Ireland, and rescue their country from one who was bent on 
hurrying it to destruction. And a little paper, The FnsufpressibU % 
published at the Nation office, combated the best efforts of the 
Freeman and Untied Ireland. When the poll was declared, 
2527 had voted for Hennessy, and only 1 367 for his opponent. 1 
Nor did the* Parnellite candidate at Sligo in April fare much 
better, though tin* majority in this second contest was not so 
sweeping as at Kilkenny. 

After the events of Committee Room No. 15, Mr. Healy 
had at no time any faith in negotiating with Mr. Parnell. He 
believed the best course was to fight him. If it did not 
bring him to reason, at least resolute opposition and continued 
defeat would thin the ranks of his adherents. Mr. Dillon and 
Mr. O'Brien did not take this view. They were specially- 
responsible for the Plan of Campaign tenants, and knew that 
disunion would mean these tenants' ruin ; and for this reason 
among others Mr. O'Brien started for Europe in December, 
hoping by a personal interview with Mr. Parnell to effect a 
settlement. As there was a warrant out for his arrest, he could 
not touch British territory. He therefore went to France, and 
at Boulogne had several interviews with Mr. Parnell. Mr. 
O'Brien is of a sanguine temperament, and at that time must 
have had a large amount of faith in his own capacity if he 
thought he could change Parnell. His proposals were indeed 
strange. The Irish Bishops were to retract their condemnation 
of Parnell, Mr. Gladstone to withdraw his letter to Morley, Mr. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 299-309 ; Healy, p. 34. 
2 Annual Register, p. 240. 

Vol. Ill 95 



mi 1 ALL 1 1 m i.i. 

arthy tt» retire from the chair and l" eded by Mr. 

Dillon, and Mi Parnell I iden! oi the National 

I Mi I'.unell w.i. an eminent I\ practical man, and 

km il that these propo impracticable, He w 

howeve r , though unwilling to yield to Mr, Dillon, quite willing 
to 1 • n the chair in favour of Mi O'Brien, Hut in this 

M i I » T.i ien mu ■ in. mi es on tl><- Irish 

question from Mr. ( tone ; the decision as to the ai iuram 

. : » remain with Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Parnell 
himself In January Mr. Dillon came from America to aid 
in, friend, Mr. ( t'Brien and ultimately he was selected as Mr. 
Parnell's su< >i But the latter was dissatisfied with the 

name-, got from the Liberal leaders by Mr. MacCarthy and 

Mr, Sexton, 1 and, after dragging along for more than six 

weeks, the Boulogne negotiations ended in failure. Messrs. 
Dillon and O'Brien then returned to Ireland to serve their six 
months' imprisonment in Galvvay Jail. 

In entering prison both gentlemen wrote public letters. 
Mr. O'Hrien stated that a satisfactory settlement had been 
shipwrecked by a mere contest about words and phrases. But 
he did not say who was to blame, nor on which side his 
sympathies lay in the struggle between Parnell and his 
opponents. Mr. Dillon was equally vague. He spoke, how- 
ever, with great severity of the vindictive and brutal manner 
in which Mr. Parnell had been assailed presumably by Mr. 
Healy. And he recorded his conviction that a satisfactory 
arrangement could have been arrived at had not powerful 
influences on both sides intervened. Both gentlemen were 
clearly anxious for peace, and had laboured to bring it about. 
But the fact was that they were overmatched by Mr. Parnell. 
His biographer records how he regarded Mr. O'Brien's going to 
Hawarden and negotiating with Mr. Gladstone as a grim joke. 

1 Annual Register^ p. 238. Mr. Gladstone promised to have the Land 
question settled by the Imperial Parliament simultaneously with the passing 
of a Home Rule Bill or within a limited period, or failing this, to give the 
Irish Parliament power to settle it ; the police were to come under control 
of the Irish authority within five years. 



IRELAND IN PARLI AMI 

Nor [a there any rea on to doubt that hi . oh .id 

confusion among his opponents; t-> 1m Dillon and 

O'Brien quarrel with Mi. Mealy, -111.1 perhapi quarrel with one 

.mother; and in addition to have the Anti I *;n i h • I i 1 1 » - . >;ii.ii. 

with tin* English I .ilx-i.i 

While election contests were being fdught in In and 

peace negotiations were in progrei 1 at Boulogne, Parliament 
was sittin The Unionist promises at the General Election ol 
[886 that their alternative to Home K u l< • would be ju tice to 
Ireland and equal laws with thoseof Great Britain, had hitherto 
taken the shape of Coercion, and of some vague but unfulfilled 
promises of reform in the ( {ueen's Spee< lies. But the collap 
^\ the Timef forgeries and the loss of so many by-elections 
warned them not to rely entirely on Coercion ; and in the winter 

session of lSoo measures were taken to COpe With the recent 

failure (A~ the potato crop ; money was voted for the building 
of Irish railways ; and an Irish Land Purchase Bill and a 
Congested Districts Bill were introduced. Both these latter 
measures passed in the session of 1891. Under the Land 
Purchase Act a sum of ^30,000,000 was voted to enable the 
tenants to buy their holdings, the money to be repaid — principal 
and interest — by annual instalments extending over a period of 
forty-nine years. To provide against any possible repudiations 
on the part of the tenants there was a Guarantee Fund, made up 
of moneys voted from the General Taxation Fund for local 
purposes. The Bill was objected to by the Liberals because 
these local grants were hypothecated without the consent of 
any of the local authorities. And the Liberals recalled with 
damaging effect the Unionist attack on Land Purchase in 
1886. Nevertheless the Bill passed rapidly through all its 
stages, and without serious amendment either in Lords or 
Commons/ Under the second Act a Congested Districts 
Board was set up, not under the control of Dublin Castle, and 
yet nominated rather than elected. Provided with an annual 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 311-27; Healy, pp. 33-42; Annual Register, 
pp. 25-28, 237-8. 

J Annua! Register, 1890, pp. 254-5 ; 1S91, pp. 105-9, 143-4. 



I Ml I All. 1>1 I \! \1 1.1. 

• •.. | I J with the 1 "i I distl i« t-> in the \\ i 

to ti-.tt h the peasants better 
methods <»t tills I i Improve their dwellings, to help them to 
nee I ■ helping hand to struggling local 

industi lire untenanted land to which the poorer 

'it be migrated, and thus \v < >uld congestion be 
relieved In pite of the fact that the members ol the Board 
were unpaid and had but a limited income, valuable work has been 
don For this three m em bers <>f the Board ' deserve special 
thanks. Sir Horace Plunkett was an expert on economic 
questions, and, though a landlord, had popular sympathies. Dr. 
O'Donnell, the Bishop of Raphoe, had the deep love for the 

people that always characterized his ancestors, the ancient 
chiefs of Tyrconnell, and to high intellectual culture united a 
thoroughly practical mind. No one knew better than Father 
l)enis ( I'Hara, P.P., the conditions of the poor in the congested 
districts of Mayo. Gifted with abilities of the highest order, 
genial, unassuming, gentle and kind, his zeal for the people had 
no taint of selfishness or vanity. lie knew exactly what they 
wanted and how their condition might best be improved, and 
he spared neither time nor labour on their behalf. In character 
and intellect there is no higher type of Irish priest, and if the 
Congested Districts Board became popular, it was chiefly 
because it had among its members two such men as Father 
O'Hara and Dr. O'Donnell. 

In Parliament Mr. Parnell supported the measures of the 
Government. On the Land Purchase Bill he voted against the 
Liberals, 2 and on more than one occasion crossed swords with 
the Liberal leaders and with the Anti-Parnellites, especially 
with Mr. Healy. 3 But his chief anxiety was about Irish public 
opinion, and week after week he crossed over from England to 
hold Sunday meetings in Ireland. His speeches at these 
meetings were always in the same strain. The Liberals he 

1 The members were appointed by the Liberal Government, for the 
Act did not come into operation till the Tories were turned out at the 
General Election of 1892. 

- Annual Register, 1890. 3 Ibid., 1891, p. 107. 



PARN1 ii I I [PAIGM 

called wolves, and Gladstone he called i "grand old ipidei 
He heaped abuse <>n the Anti Parnellite members, whom 
des< ribed .is sold to an English party and betraying Ireland In 
Parliament He taunted the Bishops with holding back till 
Gladstone had spoken, and with following the lead of the Non 
conformists. He appealed to the Feniafl everywhere! and 
every meeting he was supported by their cheers and by their 
sticks. Strong in the possession of the only National organia 
tion, he was provided with agents in every village and town. 
Hacked strongly l>y the Fronton's Journal and UniUd lrtiand % 

he had me. ins of Influencing public opinion which his opponent , 
diil not possess. Yet as time passed he was distinctly losing 

ground The defeat at Kilkenny was a bad beginning and 
greatly depressed the spirits of his supporters, who were still 
further disheartened by the loss of Sligo. The reckless charges 
against the Liberals and Anti-Parnellites were contradicted by 
obvious facts ; and the insulting epithets flung at the great 
name of Gladstone were in every way unworthy of Parnell, and 
disgusted his best friends. 1 As for the charges against the 
Bishops, the delay was at the worst prompted only by tender- 
ness for Parnell and out of gratitude for his past services. Dr. 
Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin, had been solemnly assured by 
Mr. Davitt that Parnell was innocent, and had been given 
this assurance on the authority of Parnell himself. When it 
appeared that the Archbishop had been deceived, because 
Davitt, his informant, had been deceived, it was no easy matter 
to get the Bishops together. Three of them were in Rome and 
had to be communicated with ; even those at home lived far 
apart, and some far from Dublin ; and it is certain that had 
they come together at once and condemned Parnell, they would 
have been attacked as eager for his destruction, because they 
were jealous of his power. 2 

As to the National League, its power rapidly diminished, 
especially after March 1891, when a great National Conven- 
tion was held in Dublin, and the National Federation, with 
the heart}* good wishes of bishops and priests, was formed. 3 
1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 335-6. - Annual Register, p. 242. 8 Ibid. 239. 



111! 1 All. (-1 ! MM I L 

Nfoi < In 1 tlu- Framan'A Journal continue Parncllitc A new 
itionali in, The National Press, was founded by public 

lubscripti ailed the Fntntan that 

diminished circulation was the result Mi Parnell married 
\li i in June, and tin-. n \>y the chief share 

hoi ii the Frettnan ai the cause of its change ol front 

Hut whatevei truth there may have been in this, it is certain 
that Mi Parnell's ma him the support of tens ol 

tli wsands ol the farmers. Until then they obstinately refu 

believe him guilty ; but for a Catholic who believes in the 
indissolubility of Christian marriage, the union ol Parnell with 
the wli man was certain proof of his guilt. As to 

the Fenians, they were and remained his enthusiastic supporters. 
Hut most of them were young and had no votes, and no amount 
of cheering and violence unaccompanied by voting power will 
carry contested elections. And now other events besides 
these enumerated served to dishearten Parnell. His candidate 
for the vacant seat at Carlow was disastrously beaten, and more 
than this, Messrs. Dillon and O'Brien, on their release from 
prison, declared definitely and emphatically against him. Mr. 
( ) IJrien went so far as to excuse the violence with which 
Parnell had hitherto been fought, by declaring that it was 
impossible to fight him with sugar-sticks. 

In spite of all these things Parnell refused to yield. In 
place of the Freeman's Journal, which had deserted him, he 
established the Irish Daily Independent. He strove to give 
courage and confidence to his friends by holding a National 
League Convention, 1 and he still professed to be confident of 
final victory. But this confidence he probably did not feel. 
The weekly meetings were continued, but they were followed 
only by lessened enthusiasm and continued defeats. At last, 
under the strain of disappointment and excitement, and travelling 
in all sorts of weather, his health began to fail. It had not 
been good for some years before this date. In 1891 it got 
worse. In the end of September, cold and exposure brought 
on an attack of rheumatism, and on the 7th of October his 

1 Annual Register, p. 244. 



DEATH < »i P \i:m ILL 

i \ career was closed. ii<- died at Brighton, and on the 

following Sunday, the iith oi October, hii remain arrived in 
Ireland and were borne through tli< streets oi Dublin to theii 
last resting place in Gla n< /in. Rarely has such ■ numerou i> 
attended funeral been seen. Crowds came from all parts oi 
tin- country by special trains, the calculations being thai lully 
200,000 persons either followed the beat e 01 wen- spectators 
along the route. 1 Yet it was not a national funeral, and in 
spite of the enormous crowds and the genuine sorrow, the end 
o( Parnell was a tragedy, with scarce .1 parallel in Irish history, 

SO many of the pages of which are blotted by tears. Dying 
one year earlier, the whole Irish race would have wept at his 

open grave. But the events of the last year had alienated 

from him the affections of millions, for it was realized that if, 
like Moses, he had led his people in sight of the promised land, 
unlike Moses, he had endeavoured to lead them back again into 
the desert. With his own hands he had deliberately pulled 
down the pillars of the temple he had reared. Yet with all 
his faults he looms large among the greatest of Ireland's sons. 
It would be as vain to deny him greatness as it would to 
belittle the Amazon or the Mississippi, or to deny that Mont 
Blanc towers high among its fellows. In patience and fore- 
sight, in tenacity of purpose and strength of will, we must, to 
find his equal, go back to Hugh O'Neill or Brian Boru. If we 
are estimating the qualities which go to make a great con- 
stitutional leader, a great orator and debater, who could move 
millions of men and with equal readiness rouse or calm their 
passions, we must declare Parnell immeasurably inferior to 
O'Connell. But in appreciation of facts, in adjusting means 
to the desired end, in choosing the best time and place to 
attack his enemies, and in selecting suitable instruments for the 
work he had to do, even O'Connell must yield him the premier 
place. Not yet, less than a quarter of a century after his 
death, can full justice be done to him ; for the faults of his 
later years, and the national evils which they caused, are vividly 
and bitterly remembered still. But when the last Irish landlord 

1 Annual Register. 



i in i ml or i n .1. 

h.i . di ippc i ml with him tin- multiplied evili <>f [rish 

landlordism when brightei and bettei da) • have come for an 
afflicted land thai hai long at within the ihadows, [rlshmen 
will then think ol the man who itruck such vigorous blow, on 
their behalf; and while iteful and generous nation will 

re m ember tin? lervicei ol Parnell, bis faults and his failings will 
be forgotten 



en APTER XVII 

Pamtllites and Anti-Parnelli 

Seldom has dissension wrought such havoc in Ireland as In 
the year preceding the death of ParnelL Within that period 
the Irish Party was broken up; the great organization of the 

National League fell into ruin; the Irish abroad, who had 
subscribed so generously to the National cause, ceased to 
subscribe further, disgusted with the Irish at home. Every 
city and town and village was torn by discord ; even families 
ranged themselves on opposite sides — brother fighting against 
brother, father against son. Local leaders, long tried by 
sacrifice and long trusted, fell into disfavour, and instead 
of being cheered were hooted and groaned. Priests who had 
stood by the peopie in dark days were attacked and some- 
times stoned ; their words unheeded when spoken from the 
pulpit or from the platform ; their churches made scenes of 
disorder by men who turned their backs on the sacrifice of 
the mass, cheering excitedly for Parnell. Such was the sense 
of impotence among those but lately full of hope and courage, 
that the Campaign tenants of Smith Barry hastened to make 
terms with their landlords, and leaving the mushroom town 
in which they dwelt, they returned to the houses in Tipperary 
which they had so recklessly abandoned. 1 Grieved at the 
dreary outlook, growing every day still more drear, Dr. 
Walsh, the Archbishop of Dublin, appealed to the people 
in a public letter to close up their ranks. " I am deeply 
convinced," he said, " that the continuance of this ruinous 
conflict, even for a little longer, must be absolutely detrimental 
to every hope of the establishment of Home Rule for Ireland, 

1 Annual Register, p. 243. 
*Q3 



1 111 I 5 AM) AN I I PA1 \l I I I I I 

vithin the present century. To me it Ki one 

obvious truths ol the pic, cut deplorable situation 

that the fiti people foi Home Rule, and indeed 

titutional government oi an) Kind, is on its trial, 

.mil that ■.. lai the evidence oi that fitness is somewhat 

I than it ought t<> be." These weighty words were 

disregarded by those who ought to have paused and listened 
i had Parnell any more suitable reply than t<> describe 
the Archbishop's appeal as child's talk, and the great 

nonsei 

With the death <'f the unfortunate leader it was hoped 
that wiser counsels would prevail among his followers. 

Hitherto the conduct of the Parnellite members of Parliament 

had been open to the st censure. They had joined 

with Mr. Parnell in calumniating every one who presumed to 
differ from them ; they had assailed the clergy with virulence 
.md without restraint ; they had repeated Mr. Parnell's 
charges — false as they knew them to be — against their late 
colleagues in Parliament ; they had agreed with him in calling 
the Liberals wolves and Mr. Gladstone "a grand old spider"; 
and they had encouraged Mr. Parnell to persevere in his 
reckless course, which ended for him so disastrously. Had 
they tried to hold him back ; had they advised and remon- 
strated, and when advice and remonstrance were found useless, 
had they sternly told him, as Mr. Sexton did, that even his 
services to Ireland did not entitle him to effect Ireland's 
ruin ; had they, when all else failed, refused to follow him, 
they would probably have saved him from himself. He was 
reckless ; but, reckless as he was, he could have made no 
fight if deserted by all his Parliamentary colleagues, and 
must have yielded to necessity, no matter how reluctant he 
was to yield to reason. A little foresight, a little courage, 
some consideration for poor Ireland and her cause were all 
that were required, and the fame and even life of a great 
leader would have been saved as he rushed recklessly down 
the abyss. One of the ablest of the Parnellites, and one of 

1 Annual Register, pp. 243-4. 



IRISH PARTI El \i i i i ii DEATH 

the most re pected, declared he could not desert Parnell 
because to do so would be to submit to Engli h d >n . 

it would be to destroy the unity of the [ri h Party and the 
[rish race j ii would be an a I <»i national dishonour. I 
he believed Parnell would win. 1 h is hard to believe that 
tin- parrot cry <>i English dictation, though it might li. 
deceived men <>t shallow understanding, could hi riously 

influenced a man of Mr. Clancy's ability. Noi could it be 

an act n\ national dishonour fol a religious and moral ra« <■ 

to have deserted a man who had grievously and shamelessly 
sinned, and yet who refused to admit that he had sinned at 

all, and who smiled at the notion of making any atonement 
for what he had done. 

It was perhaps the last of Mr. Clancy's reasons, the belief, 
namely, that Parnell would win, which must have influenced 
most of the Parnellites. Fascinated by his extraordinary 
qualities, they thought him invincible, and were satisfied that 
his triumph over all his opponents would be but a matter 
of time. But when the grave was opened to receive him the 
time had surely come to pause. In three separate contested 
elections the Parnellites had already been beaten, and this 
under the leadership, active and brilliant, of Parnell himself. 
When Parnell was gone, what chance was there that the 
fortunes of the party might be retrieved ? Men of ability 
there were among his colleagues, but not one with the prestige 
of his services, none with his capacity to conduct a campaign, 
none with his grim tenacity and iron will. And yet with 
a reckless and criminal folly not often equalled they rejected 
all offers of reconciliation with their late colleagues. The vast 
majority of the Anti-Parnellites would have given them as 
genuine a welcome back as the father in the Gospel gave 
to his prodigal son. The bitter things said would have 
been soon forgotten, the evil passions roused would have 
subsided ; the nation would have generously forgiven in the 
joy of once more seeing unity in the national ranks. But 
the Parnellites had not the humility to acknowledge any 

1 Mr. J. J. Clancy, M.P., in Contemporary Review, March 1891. 



P \! Mill II \\i» \\ I I P \1.M I I.I 1 1 



ii noi the public spirit to retrace thi pi, nor the 

ike hand with old < ollea rver ■ great 

mai Bittern • In their heartland blaaphemiefl 

on theii lips, they declared thai Pamell had been done to 

ith i>> Irishmen wrho had deserted him, and that they 
would not rt with murderers. Peeling ran so high 

that the Anti-Pamcllite members of Parliament dared not 

end th id leader's funeral* Mr. Dillon was attacked 

in the t Dublin by men who shouted, "Down with 

Dillon the murderer.* 1 Other prominent men were treated 
with similar brutality. Nor did the 1'arnellite membei . of 
Parliament delay In issuing a collective manifesto repudiating 
and denouncing the men " who, in obedience to foreign 
dictation, have loaded with calumny and hounded to death 
the foremost man of the Irish race." ' With such men, of 
course, they could not coalesce, and resolving to continue 
the fight, they elected Mr. John Redmond their leader. He 
began badly, however, for having resigned his seat in Wexford 
to contest Parnell's seat in Cork, he was defeated. A few 
weeks later he was consoled. Mr. Power, M.P. for the City 
of Waterford, died, and Mr. Redmond, who was opposed by 
Mr. Davitt as Anti-Parnellite candidate, was returned by a 
substantial majority. 8 At the close of the year, therefore, as 
at the beginning, discord ruled in Ireland, and the outlook 
did not brighten with the dawn of the new year. 

The fact was that there was serious dissension among 
the Anti-Parnellites, and that party, instead of attracting 
the Parnellites, threatened to split in two. The trouble was 
caused by the conflicting views of Mr. Healy and Mr. Dillon. 

1 T. D. Sullivan, pp. 314-17. 

2 Annual Register, p. 246 ; T. U. Sullivan's Recollections, pp. 318-19. 
United Ireland wrote : " Shake hands over his grave. Nay, poor fools ; 
poor, wretched, creeping, wriggling reptiles ; rather than do this thing we 
should prefer to give Ireland to the Saxon, once and for all, unreservedly, 
unblushingly, in the light of day ; we should prefer to sell her to the Saxon 
like honest brokers, strike our bargain in the market-place, and leave it to 
other men and other times to vindicate our country." 

3 Annual Register, p. 247. 






MR, DILL4 >n IND MR in \L\ 

Both were able and determined ind not easily re trained and 
Mi. MacCarthy, unlike Mr, Parnell, was quite unable to keep 
them in check. Had Mr. Sexton been appointed chairman 
Instead of Mr. MacCarthy it might have been better. K. 

tin- ablest anion;; the Ant i !\n ixiiite , could n<»t have denied 
his fitness for the position, looking to Parliamentai 

and ability. As an orator and debater lie v. Otld Only 

to Mr, Gladstone; not was he ever found unequal to the 
occasion when suddenly called upon to address the Hon 
of Commons, A further recommendation in his favour was 

that he bad not abused Mr. I'arneii. lie had patiently and 
with dignity borne with the abuse heaped upon him by the 

fallen leader, but he had been Unwilling to strike back ; and 
in the campaign in Ireland he had taken no part. He had, 
in fact, effaced himself, and while the country stood badly 
in need of his leadership, he would not lead. The result 
was that the hardest fighting had to be done by Mr. Heal)- ; 
and while Dillon and O'Brien were in prison, it was Healy 
who led the Anti-Parnellite forces. He led them with 
conspicuous ability, for his fighting qualities were not inferior 
to those of Parnell, and Healy had the advantage of being 
in the right, while Parnell was just as clearly in the wrong. 
It is highly probable that the Parnellites would have won 
at Kilkenny and Sligo and Carlow had they not had to 
encounter Mr. Healy. He took a leading part in the founding 
of the National Press and of the National Federation ; and 
in the trying months after the split, Mr. Healy, without a 
thought of himself or of his interests, met every opponent 
and faced every danger. Fascinated by his splendid abilities, 
the younger clergy were all on his side, as were the ablest men 
in the Parliamentary party ; the Catholic Bishops were grateful 
for the way in which he had championed their teaching ; and 
the local leaders, despairing of converting the Parnellites, were 
delighted with a leader who could fight so well. Not a few 
thought then and subsequently that he would have been the 
best selection for the leadership. Parnell, who had no love 
for him, declared that he had " the best political head " of all 




PARN1 i. i.i I I 3 \m» AMI I MM 1 1.1 1 I 

hih Parliamentarians. 1 No lawyci tince 0'( onnell was 

d in the Law ( ..in! ,, no man in tlic HoUte of 
. uas listened t<» with -le.iter in! for DC u .i ■ 

always mast i "i In. subject, and had alwa) i something fre it 
: lie could <>i>stm. t as skilfully as Parnell, while lii • 

:•)• h»i the practical work <'t legislation was far beyond 
that <»t Parnell. i o draft ■ Hill oi i clau e he had no equal 
in his own party, and In the years he was in Parliament there 
was no measure dealing with Ireland which he did not amend 
and impro Like Parnell he could be silent when silence 

better than speech; he was patient and tenacious, and 
always looked for practical results. These great qualities 

lb)* BerioUS defects. His temper was hot, his 
tongue was bitter, his sarcasm scathing, he said things which 
rankled and were not forgotten ; nor was there any of their 
opponents with whom the Parnellites were so enraged. If, 
therefore, .some thought Mr. Healy the most capable man 
to lead, man)' others convinced themselves that under his 
leadership unity and peace would be impossible. 

Mr. Dillon was among the latter class. The relations 
between the two men had not been cordial, and each did the 
other injustice. Mr. Healy greatly underrated Dillon's abilities, 
which are very far above the ordinary ; while Mr. Dillon dwelt 
too much on Healy's .selfishness and ambition. The fact was 
that Mr. Healy seems to have never had any desire to be Irish 
leader. Mr. Dillon, however, thought he had, and whether he 
had or not, he thought that too much power was in his hands. 
He considered Mr. Healy's policy of combat to be exasperating 
to the Parnellites and fatal to all hope of unity ; and he con- 
sidered that his continued reliance on the clergy would arouse 
the slumbering bigotry of British Nonconformity, and thus 
gravely injure the cause of Home Rule. As an alternative 
Mr. Dillon's own programme was to win over the Parnellites 
by kindness and conciliation, to end the ruinous newspaper 
war between the Freeman's Journal and the National Press, 
and to substitute some strong man, perhaps himself, for Mr. 

1 O'Brien's Parnell, ii. 334. 



Ml;, hll.l.i IN \M» mi . Ill \|.\ 

MacCarthy as chairman oi the Irish Party, rhough by 
means anti-clerical, Mr. Dillon had at no time hesitated to 
criticize the Catholic clergj m bethought their action open to 
criticism ; be had openlj assailed the Bi ih< »;• i »i Limerick ; and 
a party under bis lead, and which included Parnellit 
as Ami Parnellite i, would certainly n<>t be. open to the ai i u a 
tion of being a clerical party. With the new papers Mi Dillon's 
difficulties were not great. Mr, Gray, the leading Fretman 
shareholder, was quite willing t<> abjure Parnellism and join 
with the National Pnss % if only under the new arrangement the 
Parnellites were not to be marked out for destruction, If Mr. 
Eiealy's policy of the "tomahawk and the sweeping brush 
were to be abandoned. But the National Press shareholders, 

whether Mr. Healy liked it or not, insisted that on the new 
Board of Directors they should be adequately represented. 
On this question much was said and written. Messrs. Ileal)', 
Murphy and Dickson had been Directors of the National Press, 

and under the new arrangement became Directors of the Fret' 
man and National Press. They offered a seat on the Board to 
Mr. Dillon, making him also chairman, but he declined unless 
seats were also given to Messrs. Sexton and O'Brien, on the 
grounds that otherwise his views would not be represented 
sufficiently in the columns of the Freeman and National Press, 
and that Mr. Mealy would be the dictator of its language and 
its policy. 1 Ultimately it was agreed that when the legal 
difficulties regarding the amalgamation of the newspapers had 
been finally got over — and this took some time — Mr. Dillon 
and Mr. Sexton and another nominated by Mr. MacCarthy were 
to be appointed Directors, so that in this matter Mr. Dillon 
had his way.' 2 His friends insisted on nominating him for the 
Chair against Mr. MacCarthy, though he was not successful. 3 
But he was able to have the Committee of the party appoint 
himself, Mr. Sexton and Mr. MacCarthy Treasurers and 
Trustees of the party funds, and in this way Mr. Healy was left 
out in the cold. Nor did Mr. Dillon succeed in winning over 
the Parnellites. On his release from prison (July I 891), their 
1 Healy, pp. 60-64. 2 Ibid. 67-71. 3 j bi( i. 55. 



400 I'AKNKl 1.1 I I \\ 1 I ■ i 1 III-. 



Km u.t mi violent that he declared against ever open 

otiations with them ; ai\A theii Ian was still more 

nt at the death oi Paroell. l atei on Mr. Dillon again 
• hopeful, and in February 189 1 he opened up negotia- 
tions with the Parn< I] nly to be again repulsed ; and he 
jually unsuccessful in tin- following June. On this iattei 
ion difl ame from his om n b le . for Mr. 1 tillon 
willing to hand ov« a lai [e numbei oi eats to the Par 
nellites, but the Anti-Parnellites b ■ whole refused to support 
him in this. 1 And yet it is impossible to withhold sympathy 
for Mr. Dillon, for unity would have been cheaply purchased 
at the sacrifice of a few seats to the Parnellii 

While these disputes went on between rival newspapers 
and rival politician , Parliament sat, and an Irish Local Govern- 
ment Hill was introduced by Mr. Balfour in the session of 
1892. Meagre, halting and stingy, the measure was altogether 
different from the Acts recently passed for England and Scotland. 
The County and Barony Councils to be set up would be partly 
elective and partly nominated, and seriously hampered in the 
exercise of their powers. Evidently assuming that they would 
be corrupt bodies, Mr. Balfour, to check their prospective extra- 
vagance, inserted a clause giving power to any twenty cess-payers 
to arraign the Council before two Judges. In case of guilt being 
established to the satisfaction of these Judges, the Council 
could be dissolved and be replaced by one constituted by the 
Lord-Lieutenant. Alone among prominent public men, Mr. 
Chamberlain praised this pitiful Bill ; even Mr. Balfour himself 
felt no enthusiasm for it. By the Irish Party and the Liberal 
leaders it was fiercely assailed. Mr. Sexton attacked it as an 
insult to the Irish people, an affront both to Parliament and to 
the nation ; Mr. Gladstone called it a miserable Bill ; and Mr. 
Healy described the provision for enabling a body of cess- 
payers to arraign and even dissolve the Council as the H put 
'em in the dock clause." 2 In spite of all this adverse criticism 
the Bill passed its second reading by a substantial majority. 
It was, however, abandoned by the Government in June ; and 
1 T. D. Sullivan, p. 323. 2 Davitt's Fall of Feadalisni, p. 664. 






GENERAL ELECTION OF iJ pi 

the Unionist i, aftei six years oi oflfi( e, had to < onfc ■ tint they 
had done nothing t<> redeem theii pledget ol i83 

I'hcn in July Lime the General Election The ability and 
influence oi Mr. Gladstone had kepi Home Rule to the front, 
ami it was on tli.it question that the Issue would be decided. 
Two years before there was no doubt as to the direction in 
which the tide was flowing, The fall of Pamell and the 
unhappy events which followed were f<>i a time a formidable 
obstacle ; but in [892 the obstacle had ceased to be effective, 
and there was no doubt that with Gladstone was the flowing 

tide. And this was the case in spite of the determined efforts 
of Unionist writers and orators. Professor Dicey was eloquent 
in defence of the Union and in giving expression to the 
protest o( Ulster. He doubted if Gladstone would have such 
a majority as would carry a I lomc Rule Hill in the House of 
Commons, but if he should, the Unionists as a last resort 
should fall back on the House of Lords. For he thought it 
intolerable that the loyal Protestants of Ulster should be placed 
under the rule of men found guilty of intimidation, conspiracy 
and crime ; and playing the role of prophet of evil, he declared 
that Home Rule in Ireland would mean civil war in Ulster. 2 
Lord Salisbury not only predicted that civil war would come, 
but plainly intimated that it ought to come, and would be 
amply justified. He did not believe in the unrestricted power 
of the British Parliament ; and if it insisted on setting up an 
Irish Parliament, he was confident that the Ulstermen had not 
lost M their sturdy love of freedom or their detestation of 
arbitrary power." 3 Mr. Chamberlain was equally solicitous 
about the maintenance of Ulster Protestant ascendancy, and 
equally clear as to the right of Ulster to rebel. 4 And the 
Ulster Unionists held a great Convention at Belfast in June, 
in which strong language was used and strong resolutions 
passed. " We record," they said, " our determination to have 
nothing to do with a Parliament certain to be controlled by 

1 Annual Register, pp. 21-26, 85-91, 105. 
- Articles in Contemporary Review, April and July 1892. 
3 Annual Register, p. 70. 4 Ibid. 53, 93. 

Vol. Ill 96 



I'AKNE l.l.l rES WD will i ; i i i i , 

blc i >i the 1 1 imc and out I the I and 1 »eague, 

the di the Plan "i Campaign, and the cruelties of 

man) oi whom have shown themselvea the ready 

trumenta al domination; and we declare u> the 

pie of Great Britain our conviction that 1 1 1 « - attempt to et 

up wch a Parliament in Ireland will Inevitably result in 

and blood lied mk h aa lias not been 
expert in this century, and announce our resolve to take 

no part iii the election oi proceedings oi such a Parliament, 
the authority oi which, should it ever be constituted, we 
shall Ik forced to repudiate." 1 All tins, however, did not 
produce the desired (feet on public opinion. The prophecies 
of Lord Salisbury and Mr. Chamberlain were discounted 
by the arguments of the Liberal leaders ; and every one 
knew that the threats of Ulster were nothing but sound and 
fury. 

The quarrels among the Irish Nationalists were more dis- 
heartening to the Irish at home and abroad, and certainly 
discouraged the friends of Ireland in Great Britain. Why the 
minority could not agree with the majority nobody not blinded 
by faction could understand. Parnellites and Anti-Parnellites 
were equally in favour of Home Rule, and should have been 
equally ready to strengthen Mr. Gladstone's hands. Instead 
of this the Parnellites uttered nothing but threats against their 
late colleagues, and had nothing but insults for Mr. Gladstone. 
They maintained that Irish National opinion was all on their 
side, and so confident were they that they contested almost 
ever}* Nationalist seat. The more reckless of them boasted 
that they would win 50 seats, which would mean the annihila- 
tion of their opponents ; the more cautious of them counted on 
a gain of 20 seats. In either case they would have a majority 
over the Anti-Parnellites, and to bring about this result they 
spared no form of intimidation and violence. But it was 
disaster rather than victory that attended their efforts, and 
when the elections were over 72 Anti-Parnellites and but 9 
Parnellites had been returned. Five Nationalist seats had 
1 Note to Professor Dicey's article of July 1892. 






01 M i:\l- ill- ii' ».\ "ii 403 

been lost to the Unionists, these Including the lots oi Derry 
City and West Belfa it 

The results In Great Britain vera disappointing. [mmedi« 
ately before the General Election the enormous Unioi 
majority of [886 bad dwindled down to 66; and accordi 
to the results of the by elections there shbuld have been after 
the* elections a Home Rule majority of 120. The Pali Mall 
GaxttU expected a majority of 94 ; the Timet «•■ >l 48; 

Mr. Gladstone expected 100. Instead of this thei but a 

majority of 40, counting Parnellites, on the Home Rule ride. 

There were thus 355 Home Rulers — 274 Liberals and 81 

Nationalists ; while the Unionists numbered 3 15, of whom 2' 

were Conservatives and 46 Liberal Unionists. For the Home 
Rulers one o( the most disagreeable facts was that Birmingham 
went solid for Mr. Chamberlain, the ablest and most relentless 
of their opponents. And it was also of ill omen that both Mr. 
Morlcy at Newcastle and Mr. Gladstone at Midlothian were 
returned by greatly reduced majorities. If, on the one hand, 
there was a collapse of Parnellism, on the other hand the 
triumph of Birmingham was equally shown. And the House 
of Lords would be sure to note that the Unionists had a 
majority of 7 1 in England, and of 1 5 in Great Britain, and 
that if Home Rule obtained a majority in the House of 
Commons it would necessarily be by Irish votes. 1 

Mr. Gladstone was deeply mortified. He counted on 
having at his command such a majority as would strike terror 
into the House of Lords, and compel its acquiescence, as in 
the case of the disestablishment of the Irish Church. It was 
probable that some timid British voters had been frightened 
by the bogie of an Ulster civil war, and that others had been 
cajoled by Mr. Chamberlain. But Mr. Gladstone himself laid 
the blame on Irish dissension. " Until the schism arose," he 
said to Mr. Morley, * we had every prospect of a majority 
approaching those of 1868 and 1880. With the death of 
Mr. Parnell it was supposed that it must perforce close. But 

1 Annual Register^ pp. 117-22; Morley's Gladstone, ii. 731-4; Mr. 
Stead in Contemporary Review for August 1892. 



A i PARNELLJTES AND Kh 11 PARNELL1 1 i 

the tioil h.t bOM Mi appointed. 'I he 'enre and 

woi o( n have to no until extent puzzled and bewildered 

the I They cannot comprehend bow ■ quarrel, 

them utterly unintelligible, should !><• allowed to divide the 

I in the !. the enemy; and their unity and zeal have 

in proportion. Herein Wl the main < au\e 

why our majority If DOt more than double what it actually 

numbers, ami the different e between these two n ales of majority, 
I apprehend, is the difference between power to cany the 

Hill as the I lunch and Land Hills were carried into law 
and the default oi BUCh power." ' '1 here were, in fact, many 
Liberals who thought that Mr. Gladstone should not take 
office at all, and if he did that he should not introduce a Home 
Rule Bill, which might not pass the House of Commons and 
would be certain of defeat in the House of Lords. Hut Mr. 
Gladstone had devoted the closing years of his great career to 
Ireland, and had already satisfied the Irish leaders, Messrs. 
MacCarthy, Dillon, Healy and Sexton," that a Home Rule Hill 
would be introduced. When, therefore, Parliament met in 
August a vote of censure was moved from the Liberal side and 
carried ; the Unionists resigned, and Mr. Gladstone became 
Prime Minister for the fourth and last time. 3 Mr. Morley 
again became Chief Secretary for Ireland, Sir William Harcourt 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Cabinet included also 
Lords Spencer, Herschell and Rosebery, and Mr. Campbell- 
Bannerman. One notable addition was made in the person of 
Mr. Asquith, a brilliant young lawyer, who became Home 
Secretary. Without much delay a new Home Rule Bill was 
elaborated, and on the 13th February following it was intro- 
duced by Mr. Gladstone. 4 

For two hours and a quarter the great statesman spoke in 
a House filled to overflowing, every seat occupied, every gallery 
full ; and he spoke with an eloquence and a convincing force 
marvellous in one of his years. 5 His Bill, like that of 1886, 

1 Morley, ii. 734. 2 Annual Register, p. 109. 

3 Ibid. 127-37. 4 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 736-7. 

5 Annual Register, pp. 31-35. 



PHI i .« OND HOM1 I'll BILL r< 1 

provided for the establishment ol an Irish Parliament vrith an 

tcutive dependenl on it. Provision w.i mad<* t<» -,.it< 

guard Imperial unit)', equalit) tm the different nation. 

making up the United Kingdom, the equitable repartition oi 
Imperial burdens, and protection <»t minorities; and the 
settlement was to lx\ if not final, at least "a real and continu 
ing settlement" But while the Bills of I I and 1893 thus 
eed in principle, they differed somewhat in mattei • oi detail. 
Instead <>t two orders sitting together, the new Bill set nj> 

Legislative Council of 48 elected by those rated at L JO 

or upwards, and a Legislative Assembly elected by existing 

voters — these two Houses to sit separately. The Legislative 

Council was specially representative of property, and thcref< 
meant to guard against hasty or ill-considered legislation. Hut 
though it might delay, it could not prevent the passing of Bills, 
and if the Assembly sent up a Bill a second time, after an 
interval of two years, or after a General Election, the Council 
could not reject, and must then sit with the Assembly, a 
majority of both Houses being sufficient for passing the 
measure so presented. The Council would be elected for ei^ht 
years, the Assembly for five years. The Viceroy would be 
an Imperial officer appointed for six years, having power to 
assent to Bills or to exercise a veto, exercise of the latter right, 
however, being subject to previous consultation with the Irish 
Cabinet. 

In all purely Irish matters the Irish Parliament would be 
supreme ; but it could endow no religious belief, nor impose 
restrictions on the profession of any religion, or of none. And 
it could not touch such questions as peace or war, the army, 
navy or national defence, the Crown, regency, Viceroyalty, 
titles and dignities ; nor could it interfere with coinage, or 
with questions of external trade. These were reserved to the 
Imperial Parliament, the supremacy of which was specially' 
asserted in the Preamble of the Bill. And if the Irish 
Parliament outstepped the limits of its powers, the Judicial 
Committee of the English Privy Council, on the initiation of 
the Irish Viceroy or the English Home Secretary, might declare 



i w.ni i.i.i l f B UfD w i i i\i.m ill: 

that such legislation was u , and therefore must bi- 

ll I rs Irish Judgei would 

■ppointed by the Imperial authority, After which they would 
ited by tin- I nth e, holding offi< e in thi 

In the former by an Irrevocable tenure The Irish police 

o would be under Imperial control until i new civil force 

nrolled, and thii must be done «it furthest within b period 

■ i lli police force would be under Irish 

itrul ; but special provi ion was made as to the pensions of 
the retiring policemen; and the same sort of provisions were 
made as to the pension* of retiring judges and civil servants. 
For three years the Land question was to remain for settlement 

the Imperial Parliament, after which if not settled it would 
to the Irish Parliament 

Unlike the measure of 1 886, the Bill provided for the 
retention of the Irish members at Westminster. They were, 
however, to be reduced to 8o ; nor were they to vote on 
purely English or Scotch questions, nor on any tax not levied 
in Ireland, nor on any appropriation of money except for 
Imperial services. A schedule of such services was given. 
The question of the retention or exclusion of Irish members 
bristled with difficulties, and Mr. Gladstone stated them very 
fairly and without prejudice. He would leave the matter an 
open one, satisfied with whatever decision might be come to 
by Parliament. 1 

On behalf of the Tories Sir Edward Clarke found fault 
with the proposed arrangement, declaring it to be beyond the 
wit of man to completely separate local from Imperial questions. 2 
Colonel Saunderson was more vehement in his condemnation, 
complaining that the proposed Irish Parliament would have 
"the power of plunder without the fear of judgment." 3 On 
the other hand, Mr. Sexton, speaking on behalf of the Anti- 
Parnellites, welcomed the Bill as better than that of 1886, 
though he found grave fault with the financial provisions, which 
he thought less equitable than those of the former Bill. 4 There 

1 Hansard, ccclxiv. pp. 1241-75. 2 Ibid. 1286. 

3 Ibid. 1 33 1. 4 Ibid. 1327. 



i ill SECOND R] \i>i\». hi i: \ i i 
was tO be m 'l Imperial ofticn as |>ro\ ided in i ' tO 

collect the revenue and transmit the balance t<> the li 
exchequei after the fixed Imperial contribution from Ireland 
had been paid. Undei the new arrangement the i u tonus alone 
were reserved foi collection by Imperial officei , and would be 
deemed sufficient m Ireland's contribution to the Imperial 

Exchequer. All the other item of,revenue were to be eo] 

by Irish officers and expended under the control «»i the Irish 
executive authority. Mr. Gladstone estimated, alter giving the 

several items of the Irish Budget, that Ireland would have i 
balance ol .6500,000 with which to start the work <>f Irish 
government But Mr. Sexton denied the accuracy of th 
figures, Mr. Redmond's condemnation was more emphatic 
Prom him much was expected by the Unionists. They hoped 
he would play the game of faction, criticize adversely anything 
and everything proposed by Mr. Gladstone, and make demands 
which he knew well could not be conceded. As he did not do 
this their chagrin was great. lie spoke with great eloquence 
and power, and though he found fault with the financial 
provisions, with the power of veto given to the English Privy 
Council, and with the right of the Imperial Parliament to 
legislate even on purely Irish questions concurrently with the 
Irish Parliament, he spoke in no carping spirit. He spoke, 
indeed, throughout as a patriot and a statesman. He spoke 
with an enthusiasm which was natural of the great work done 
by Parnell, but he also paid an eloquent tribute to the great 
Englishman who had devoted to the cause of Ireland the 
glorious sunset of his days. 1 

After four nights' debate the Bill was read a first time 
without a division, on the 20th of February. Nearly two 
months later, on the 6th of April, Mr. Gladstone moved the 
second reading, and then the big guns on both sides of the 
House were brought into action. Often indeed the speaking 
was wearisome, but often also it was on a high level. The 
Annual Register (p. 39) notes that there seemed to be a secret 
understanding among the Unionists as to the line to be taken. 

1 Hansard, ccclxiv. 1463-80. 



!' VIM 1.1. HI S A . 1 I I \l \l I I I I I 

i • nt tin- treatment meted <'Ht to tin 

The Liberal Unionitti were to lay ipecial 
-»*> »»n tlu- ti.iii;.;i-i t>» the ,<•< urity and pre ti .<• «>t the United 
Kingdom The (Jlstermen were t<. protest against tin- 
tin i ruin "i then province ( ertainly there wrai much 
i about Ulster. Belfast had become the Mecca ol Unionism 
Thither urent Mi. Balfour iq April and Lord Salisbury In May, 
• the militant bigotry of Ulstei Orangeism. 1 Mr. 
Chamberlain, Sir Henry James and the Duke oi Devonshire 
* »i th< uune city, and with the lame object ai the Tory 
lers. And in the House of I ommons the voice <»f Ulster 
bigotr) v ertive and loud. Mr. MacCartney and Sii 
Edward Harland protested against the threatened ruin of a 
iperous and pro ive province. 1 Mr. Dunbar Barton 

spoke of armed resistance, and seems to have contemplated a 
■enten< e of penal servitude for himself. 1 Mr. T. W. Russell was 
not behindhand in strong language. As for Colonel Saunderson, 
there was no limit to the extravagance of his oratory. He 
declared that Ulster would certainly fight rather than be 
subject to a Parliament controlled by Dr. Walsh, the Catholic 
Archbishop of Dublin ; nor would a loyal and high-spirited 
province bear to be governed by disloyal and dishonest men. 
And he predicted all sorts of evils in addition to armed 
insurrection — confusion in the law courts, impotence in the 
executive, smuggling along the coast. 4 

From the Irish benches these objections were met by Mr. 
Blake, Mr. Redmond, Mr. Davitt and Mr. Sexton. Mr. Blake's 
was a calmly-reasoned speech made by one who had held high 
office in Canada, and had therefore practical experience of the 
beneficent effects of Home Rule.^ Mr. Redmond welcomed 
the Bill, while solemnly protesting against its financial pro- 
visions. 6 Mr. Davitt's speech was specially noteworthy, and 
made a deep impression on the House. The rebel and Fenian, 
under the influence of Mr. Gladstone's conciliatory policy, had 

1 Annual Register, pp. 305-7. - Hansard. 

3 Ibid. 4 Hansard, iv. 856 et seq. 

: ' Hansard, iii. 407-23. 6 Ibid. 234-52. 



nil SECOND Rl U>ING D1 M PI 

turned to constitutional ways, The prisoner ol Dartmoor, who 
had ipenl bo many yeai i ol hii life in the loneliness and pri< 
tion of an English prison cell, spoke mrithout a tra< <• ol bitten u- 
Forgiving and forgetting all he 1 1 . c < l suffered, he welcomed the 

Bill, with all its Safeguards and restrictions, ;is .1 final icttle 

ment between two nations long estranged. 1 In pointing to 
the fact that the Catholic Corporation ol Dublin Had ien( it 
Protestant Lord Mayor to Parliament with t petition in favour 
oi Mi. Gladstone's Bill, Mr, Sexton could retort on Colonel 
Saunderson that the claim of Ulster was not for freedom <>i 

equality, but for domination and ascendancy. For it was well 
known that the Belfast Corporation was a bigoted body, 

which would admit no Catholic to its employment or it . 

honours. Nor had Mr. Sexton any difficulty in exposing Mr. 
Chamberlain's financial inaccuracies. Like Mr. Redmond and 
Mr. Davitt, he accepted the Bill, and believed it would put an 
end to the strife of ages.' 2 

In moving the second reading, Mr. Gladstone specially 
emphasized the fact that under existing conditions the British 
Parliament was unable to do its work. He pointed out that 
Ireland had been discontented ever since the Union ; and on 
the other hand, that in every British colony the grant of self- 
government had always brought loyalty and contentment in its 
train. 3 Sir M. Hicks-Beach, who followed him, indulged much 
in prophecy. The Bill did not safeguard British supremacy ; 
it would lead to fresh demands from a discontented and an 
unsatisfied Ireland ; it would allow the Irish members to still 
dominate the Parliament of Westminster, even while masters 
of the Parliament at Dublin. The Bill, he said, " is not a 
union ; it is not a federation ; it is not colonial self-government ; 
it is a bastard combination of the three." 4 Mr. Chamberlain 
was more vehement in his condemnation and less scrupulous. 
He objected to everything in the Bill — the safeguards for 
Imperial supremacy and the rights of minorities, the financial 
arrangements, the veto, and above all he objected to give 

1 Hansard, iv. 42-62. 2 Ibid. 785-824. 

3 Ibid. iii. 1 597-1620. 4 Ibid. 1620-42. 



4»0 I \!M II 11 I \\|. A\ 111 1.1 I 1 , 

Ireland o the Irl h Nationalist leadei , whom he abhorred 

and denounced. 1 ( >n 1 1 1 « - same iide, and with a good deal oi 

tion, I "id Randolph Churchill ipol did Mr. 

ii and Si i Henry lames. Mr, Goschen was clevei and 

umentative, and a rin.nni.il expert, severe!) and 

skilfull) ial arrangements in the Bill. 9 And 

Henry James made much oi the fad that Mr. Parnell 

had accepted as ■ final settlement the Bill of [886, and yet 

pears later had atta< Iced both the Bill and its author. 3 
From the Libera! benches an answer came from Mr. 
M irley. Hi. speech was able and eloquent as became one 
whose diction was always so select, and who was so much a 
master of the subject. Both Mr. Chamberlain and Lord 
Randolph Churchill he handled severely, and the I Hike of 
1 Devonshire's recent appeal to the past in his Belfast speech 
he described as " an incoherent and ignorant perversion of 
history." 4 But a still more brilliant Speech from the Liberal 
benches was that of Mr. Asquith, the Home Secretary. ( lothed 
in highly felicitous language, it was argumentative and con- 
vincing, and produced a marked effect on all who heard it. 
If the Irish people were so black as they had been painted by 
the Unionists, they deserved instead of Home Rule to be 
disfranchised. Yet they were given the franchise in 1885, 
and Mr. Chamberlain in that year was prepared to give them 
local government, which differed little from Home Rule. Mr. 
Asquith scoffed at the notion that Imperial supremacy was 
insufficiently safeguarded in the Bill ; and he understood by 
supremacy " not the power or practice of meddling or peddling 
interference with the details of Irish legislation or administration, 
but a real power which might be used in grave emergencies " 
should such arise. u It is," he said, u taxing our credulity to 
ask us to believe that a power which has expressly reserved 
to itself under the Bill the executive authority, which has 
complete and absolute control of the whole of the military and 
naval forces of the Crown, which can call upon the officers of 

1 Hansard, vii. 1830-57. 2 Ibid. iv. 462-83. 

3 Ibid. 912-39. 4 Ibid. 629-57. 



I in SI i i >ND Rl tDING i'i BA1 I 111 

the Irish executive to can 1 ) <>ut it. d< and which, in < a <■ 

of default by them, can appoint oflfw ri oi Iti own foi 
purpose -it is taxing oui credulity to asl< us to believe thai 
power so endowed and equipped will not be able to enforce to 
the last extent <-\ ery pow r it i>< i 

On the aist ol Vpril, the twelfth night of the debate, Mr. 
Balfour summed up for the ( opposition. A keen debater, he made 
his points with the skill of the practised dialectician. Denyii 
that the Union had failed or thai coercion had failed, he denied 
that either imperial supremacy or the interests of Ulster were 
sufficiently safeguarded in the- Bill, and he denied that the 

police and civil servants were being treated with justice. He 
predicted that Irish discontent would not be allayed ; that 
there would he fresh demands made in the future, seeing that 
the Irish Parliament was prohibited from dealing with religion 
and education and trade ; that there would be confusion and 
civil war ; and he warned the Irish Nationalists of the folly of 
cutting off their country — a poor country — from access to 
British credit." Then came the final scene, when Mr. Gladstone 
rose in a full House just as the clock tolled the hour of mid- 
night. Summing up all that his opponents had said, he 
described it as consisting of bold assertion, persistent exaggera- 
tion, constant misconstruction, copious, arbitrary and boundless 
prophecy ; and he gave examples of how these various weapons 
had been used. He declared himself quite satisfied with the 
speeches of the Irish leaders, considering them as sufficient 
acceptance of the measure on the part of the Irish people. He 
was specially pleased with the speech of Mr. Redmond. But, 
on the other hand, he had strong language of condemnation for 
the speeches made by Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Henry James — 
speeches in which distrust of Ireland, hatred of her leaders, and 
incitement to Ulster bigotry were but too apparent. 3 When 
the division was taken, 347 voted for the Bill and 304 against 
it. Mr. Gladstone had therefore triumphed, and the verdict of 
1886 was reversed. 

But the Bill had many dangers yet to face, and in Committee 
1 Hansard, iv. 335-61. -Ibid. 968-97. 3 Ibid. 992-1006. 



A I'M M.I.I II ES AND AN II PARN1 I I I I I 

it di i I The Committee 
sta in on the 4th <<t M The Unionists declared their 

i i nation t<> kill the Bill, and for thii purpose had recoui 
to ever) I \ obstruction. Amendment! were moved, long 
^i»« every clause and every line was fought over; 

tUCh M IS tin - Sk>W prOgn made that alter twenty eight 

: four clau es had been pissed i" economize time 

the Irish tid little. Hut Mr. Balfour and others on his 

side said much, Mr. Chamberlain most of all. With tireless 
energy and sleeplc vigilance be watched and delayed 

pro Isfied if he could only wear down Mr. Gladstone. 

A motion Mras at la^t passed to have the Hill closured by 
compartments, and only thus was the Committee stage got 
through In general the Liberals and Nationalists held well 
together, but there were times when the forces of the Opposition 
all but prevailed. On the 30th of May a Unionist amendment 
was defeated only by 2 1 votes ; the 6th clause had but a 
majority of 1 5 ; and the 9th clause only 14.' On this latter 
clause Unionists and Parnellites coalesced. But the combina- 
tion did not endure, and on the 30th of August the third reading 
of the Bill was carried by a majority of 34. Though voting 
with the majority, Mr. Redmond made an injudicious speech, 
which delighted the enemies of Home Rule and disheartened 
its friends. He declared the Bill was worse than when it had 
entered Committee ; that no man in his senses could regard it 
as a satisfactory settlement of Ireland's claims ; that the word 
" provisional " was stamped in red ink across every page. 2 

In the House of Lords the Bill was treated with scant 
courtesy. On the second reading its rejection was moved by 
the Duke of Devonshire, and in a house of 460 only 41 voted 
for the Bill. 3 Thus was the representative assembly of the 
nation flouted by a body non-representative and reactionary. 
Two other important measures had also occupied the attention 
of Parliament in the session of 1893 — the Employers' Liability 

1 Hansard, vii. 1031, 1192. 

2 Annual Register, p. 92 ; T. D. Sullivan, pp. 341-2. 

3 Annual Register, p. 228. 



BIL1 S REJ» I i i» B\ THE L01 \\ ; 

Hill and the Parish Councili Bill. Both were onl up to the 
Lords, and there they were Amended <»ut <>f all recognition. 
All remonstrance From the House of Common •• uti.iv.niin;; 
in the case of the Employers' Liability Bill, and the < nmenf 
in consequence abandoned it. To a imall extent the Lords 
yielded on the Parish Councils hill, and th.it Bill became la 
not, however, without strong language hi the House oi Commons, 
Mr. Gladstone was specially indignant at seeing the hard 
labours <>t the longest session on record thus nullified in a few 
hours by the prejudice and obsttnancy of a non representative 
body. After tin- rejection of the Home Rule Bill he poke out 
at Edinburgh, telling his audience that a determined nation 
could not be thwarted by a phalanx of 500 peers who bore 
high-sounding titles and sat In a gilded chamber. And he 
promised that in the next session Home Rule would again 
appear above the waves amid which it had for the moment 
seemed to founder. 1 The Lords' treatment of the Employers' 
Liability Bill and the Parish Councils Bill still further intensified 
Mr. Gladstone's indignation against the Peers, and his last speech 
in Parliament was an attack on them. The question, he 
said, was " whether the judgment of the House of Lords is to 
annihilate the whole work of the House of Commons. The 
issue which is raised between a deliberative assembly elected by 
the votes of six millions of people, and a deliberative assembly 
occupied by many men of virtue, by many men of talent, of 
course with considerable diversities and varieties, is a controversy 
which, when once raised, must go forward to an issue." 2 

The fact was that Mr. Gladstone was satisfied that the 
House of Lords must be fought, and that a suitable opportunity 
to fight the Peers had come. He was then very old, his hearing 
was bad, his sight was dim and he was threatened with total 
blindness, and any other man would have sought for repose, 
weighed down as he was with the infirmities of age. But his 
mental faculties were still unimpaired, as was shown by the 
skill with which he had piloted the Home Rule Bill through 
the House of Commons ; and the appeal of a man who had 
1 Annual Register, pp. 228-9. 2 Ibid, for 1894, p. 54. 



l'AUM 1.1 1 . ■ PI-J Nl I 1.1 1 1 , 

i the pub >uld have been hard to 

i Istone'a < oll< wen- with him, but 

others had little enthusiasm for Home Rule, and wanted no 

ition and in. .in ade against the House o( Lords. In 

the old w irrioi re olved to retire from the held. 

In he made hi i la it h In the J louse of 

mmons, then resigned the Premiership, and soon after 

a m Parliament Lord Roaebery succeeded 

him a^ Prime Minister, and Home Rule, which was to have 

apj • the waves, remained submerged. 1 

1 he outlook in Ireland grew dark. The violence of 1 lie 

Parnellites at the General Election in 1892, their attacks on 

meetings, their liberal use of sticks and stones and insults was 
not easily forgotten. On the other hand, some of the more- 
thoughtless and younger clei ;>ecially in Meath, had gone 
far beyond the limits of prudence or fair-play, with the result 
that the two members elected for Meath had been unseated on 
petition. The recollection of these things remained, and 
though Parnellite and Anti-Parnellite members fought together 
on the Home Rule Bill, they refused to coalesce. Nor did the 
Anti-Parnellites themselves put their house in order. The 
directorate of the Freeman's Journal continued to furnish 
subject for debate and disunion. A majority of the Irish 
members decided that the party as such should no longer 
interfere in the affairs of that newspaper. Mr. Sexton, 
however, did not agree, and threatened to retire from public 
life if this resolution were not rescinded. Rescinded it was, for 
the country could not lose the services of such a man with the 
Home Rule Bill in Committee ; but the decisions of the party 
were thus discredited and the affairs of a Dublin newspaper 
were still left for further debate." Mr. Dillon continued to 
think that Mr. Healy aimed at too much power. Mr. Healy 
retorted that Mr. Dillon was a political boss, controlling 
the party funds, controlling the Freeman's Journal, rigging con- 
ventions for the selection of Parliamentary candidates. Nor 
could Mr. Dillon deny that he was one of the National Treasurers 
1 Morley's Gladstone, ii. 744-5. 2 Healy, pp. 80-81. 






Dl iENSION IN i i i '• 

.iikI th.it Mi Heal) was not And Mi Dillon's conduct if .1 
c i invention at ( !a it lebai In the end ol I uly I - My 

ailed In defiance ol tin- u ..i ;.;<• tl.it no member hould 

preside .it .1 convention in his own county, he presided .it 
Castlebar, En spiteoi the fact that he had -it the beginning ol 
the meeting taken no exception to the composition <>t tii 
vention and no pains to test the credentials oi the delegat 
he dissolved the meeting after it had sat for lome time, on the 
plea that it was irregularly constituted, and undoubtedly fome 
had been admitted who had n<> right to be there. Then he 
adjourned the meeting to Westport, where the nominee of the 
party rather than the local nominee was seta ted. 1 he 

Selected Candidate, Dr. Ambrose, was a sturdy Nationalist, and 
an honest man, just as his opponent, Colonel Blake, was, and 

il may be that had Dr. Ambrose's claim been adequately put 
forward at Castlebar he might have been adopted there. Mr. 
Dillon, always distrustful of landlords, was evidently reluctant 
to have the local candidate, and thus left himself open to Mr. 
I lealv's accusation that he was rigging conventions for the 
advancement of his own personal ambition. 1 A few months 
later Mr. Healy was turned off the directorate of the Freeman 1 s 
Journal. Disgusted at the turn of affairs, Mr. Murrogh, one 
of the members for Cork and a liberal subscriber to Nationalist 
funds, resigned his seat, as did Mr. John Barry, M.P. for Wexford, 
an old and tried Nationalist ; large numbers of the clergy and 
local leaders withdrew from the movement altogether ; and 
the National Federation had to count on fewer working 
branches and a lessened income. 2 

It was probably the apathy and indifference which had 
followed in the wake of dissension which caused the Nationalist 
leaders to neglect their obvious duty when Mr. Gladstone 
resigned. Had the choice of his successor been left to the 
Liberal members they would probably have fixed on Sir 
William Harcourt ; and he ought to have been acceptable in 
Ireland, for he had fought the Home Rule battle for years 
with conspicuous energy and ability. Mr. Gladstone himself 
1 Healy, pp. 83-86. n - Ibid. 101. 



|lti LLITES AM> \.\ 1 i i \r.\i i i 1 1 i S 

Lord Spencer, a ttaunch Home Ruler. But 

the i, who hud little love fd Ireland and none at all for 

Home Rule, lelected Lord Rosebery. As a Liberal he wia a 

mild type indeed In November i s s 5 Lord Randolph 
Churchill u I that the Whiga should Ik- won over from 

Home Rule, that in a composite Cabinet Hartington should 

the Indian Secretaryship, Goscheti the Home Office, and 
Rosebery the Scotch Office. 1 This, however, was not done, 
and though Rosebery did not secede with Hartington and 

.Inn in the following \<ar, he gave little help to Mr. 
Gladstone in the years of stress and battle which followed. 
\*>y the Unionists 1 he was welcomed to the Premiership as one 
" who had done nothing to imperil British prestige abroad or 
to show his sympathy with Home Rule at home," As the 
biographer and apologist of Pitt, he had no disapproval for 
Pitt's Union policy, and disagreed with Mr. Gladstone's con- 
demnation of the baseness and blackguardism of the Union. 
And on the second reading of the Home Rule Bill in the 
Lords he declared that though he was a witness, he was not 
an enthusiastic witness in favour of Home Rule. " With me at 
any rate Home Rule is not a fanaticism, nor a question of 
sentiment, scarcely even a question of history." 3 

The Irish Party had, of course, no right to dictate to the 
Liberals as to the selection of a Liberal leader. But if Mr. 
Gladstone in November 1S90 had a right to point out that 
ParnelTs continuance in the Irish leadership would wreck 
Home Rule, the Irish Party in 1894 had an equal right to 
point out that they could not support a Liberal Premier who 
had no desire to advance the cause of Home Rule. Had 
Parnell lived it is more than likely that he would have 
chastised Lord Rosebery by promptly turning him out of 
office. Mr. Parnell's successors, however, were not so exacting. 
Mr. T. P. O'Connor described Rosebery's speech in the Lords 
as just the sort that would favourably impress the House of 

1 ChurchilPs Life, ii. 6 — private letter to Salisbury. 

* 2 Annual Register, p. 60. 

3 Hansard ; Lucy's Diary of the Home Rule Parliament, pp. 319-20. 



LORD R0S1 ii i ■'. AND in »\n. 1.1 i i py 

Lorda and the British public, an< 1 professed to i" - atisfied 
with it himself. 1 Mr. Davitl preferred Lord Rosebery to Sir 

William I [an i >ui t. Mi. Dillon at Clonmel (nth February 
1894) deprecated sir. pen tin-.; the Liberal leadei . suspicion 
being "tin- mark of a timid and cowardly natur The 
Freeman* s Journal y however, wisely su ed th.it assuran< 
should be sought by the lush leaders, and Mr. Healy urged 

the same in a letter to Mr. M.u(\irthy. The latter WTOte to 
Lord Rosebery, but was not vouchsafed cither an interview or 
«i reply, and a few days later the new Premier publicly declared 

that before "Nome Rule is conceded by the Imperial Par- 
liament, England, as the predominant partner, will have to be 
convinced of its justice." ' Frightened at the flutter created 

by these words in the minds of the Irish Nationalists, Lord 
Rosebery, on the 17th of March, in a speech at Edinburgh, 
partly retraced his steps. Mr. John Dillon, who was present, 
hastened to say to his countrymen in the Scotch capital that 
for himself he was satisfied with the speech ; he was deeply 
and firmly convinced that in Lord Rosebery Ireland had 
an honest and an honourable champion, who would be false to 
no pledge given by that great man whose place he had stepped 
into so courageously. Nor could Mr. Dillon be blamed for his 
estimate of Lord Rosebery, when Lord Rosebery 's words are 
remembered. 3 Others of the party, however, remained sceptical 
and suspicious. Nor could it be denied that Mr. Redmond 

1 Sketches in tJie House, pp. 277-8. - Healy, pp. 90-91. 

8 Annual Register, pp. 77-79. "On the first night of the session," 
said Lord Rosebery, M I had occasion to deal with the Irish question . . . 
and my critics admit that I dealt with it with almost too much perspicacity. 
But unfortunately the interpretation that they put on my words was not 
that which I put upon them in my intention. What I said was that if we 
wanted to carry Home Rule we must carry conviction to the heart of Eng- 
land, and by these words I stand. They are a truism, a platitude in the 
sense in which I uttered them ; but in the sense in which they have been 
interpreted they bear a meaning which I as a Scotsman should be the first 
to repudiate. Are we really to believe that in all the great measures 
which affect the United Kingdom we are to wait the predominant vote of 
England ? . . . We do not propose to sit on the banks of the stream of 
time and watch that stream pass by until it shall run dry in an English 

Vol. Ill 97 



\[ ■ PARN1 I.I.I 1 I S \M> A\ I II MM I I. II I . 

.iiiiiiii. ,1 up the situation In April 1894 . in 

which Ireland s/as almost fa< to face with th<- ruin of the 
Home Ri In .1 position ol disunion, squalid and 

humiliating personal altercations, and petty vanities," 1 

Unfortunately for Ireland, the personal altercations con- 
tinued. Mi Arthur O'Connor, one ol the ablest of the 
1 h Party, vras turned out of his position as Secretary, 
Mr. Healy, .it .1 convention in Liverpool (in Ma)' 1K94), 
evidently referring to Mr. Dillon, protested that he did not 
machine conventions, nor draft resolutions for branches, nor 
go through the length and breadth of the land attacking his 
oollea ^lies. Mr. Davitt at the same time and place retorted 
that no man would be allowed to wreck the movement under 
the pretext of combating " bossism," which was simply a 
manufactured bogey.' - ' A few months later it was rumoured 
that Pamellites and Dillonites were about to unite to crush 
Mr. Healy. Hut Mr. Redmond repudiated any such alliance 
and attacked both Mr. Dillon and Mr. Sexton ; while Mr. 
Harrington attacked Mr. O'Brien, avowing on the latter's 
authority that the situation could have been saved at Boulogne 
in 1 89 1 had not Dillon been ambitious to succeed Parnell in 
the chair. 3 Meantime the Nationalist coffers were empty, 
and subscriptions to the party funds were readily received from 
leading English Liberals. Owing to protests from Mr. T. D. 
Sullivan and others, these subscriptions were very properly 
returned ; for a party sustained by British gold would have no 
claim to be called independent. 4 

Legislation during this period there was none. Faced by 
a strong opposition led by such able debaters as Mr. Balfour 
and Mr. Chamberlain, discredited by their losses at by- 
elections, almost unrepresented in the House of Lords, the 
Government was impotent. A Registration Bill and a Welsh 

majority ? . . . I must point out that if I had meant that an English 
majority was necessary to the passing of Home Rule I should have been 
uttering what on the face of it is an absurdity" {Times, March 19, 1894). 

1 Annual Registe?', p. 206. 2 Ibid. 207-8. 

3 Healy, pp. 111-12. 4 Ibid. 103-6, 109-10. 



END 01 nil LIBEF \i. 00V1 RNMEN r 419 

Disestablishment Bill were Introduced In 1894, but neither 
became law ; nor did the Welsh Bill when reintroduced In the 
following year; 1 nor did an Irish Kvictcd Tenants Hill 01 
an Irish Land Bill, though the former reached the 1 ords and 
the latter passed its second reading without ,i division. The 
Unionist vote of censure in February 1895 was defeated by 
only 14 votes. 1 Confident of victory, they clamoured for a 
General Election, and stopped all legislation. Nothing was 
done for Ireland except the appointment of some popular 
magistrates and of a Commission to investigate what were the 
financial relations between Ireland and Great Britain. The 
Pamellites, like the Unionists, wanted a dissolution ; but the 
Anti-Parnellites continued to support the Government in 
passing Hills which it was well known the Lords would reject. 
This was called the policy of " filling up the cup " against the 
Lords. As for the agitation against the Upper House, it 
was never taken seriously, for nobody believed that Lord 
Rosebery wanted the abolition or even the reform of the 
House of Lords. In June the Government were defeated and 
resigned office. Lord Salisbury again became Premier, Mr. 
Balfour Leader in the Commons, Mr. Chamberlain Colonial 
Secretary. In July there was a dissolution, and when the 
last elections were over it was found that 411 Unionists, 177 
Liberals, 70 Nationalists and 1 2 Parnellites had been returned. 
This gave the Unionists a majority of 152, the largest obtained 
at any election since 1832. 4 Even such prominent men as Sir 
William Harcourt and Mr. John Morley had been defeated. 
Ireland was again disheartened, and the Home Rule cause was 
in the dust. 

1 Annual Register for 1894, pp. 87-88, 104 ; for 1895, p. 88. 
2 Ibid, for 1894, p. 124 ; for 1895, P- 99- 3 MM- 34- 4 I^d- 153-8. 



CHAPTER XVlll 

Years (>/ Strife 

In the- autumn of 1895 Liberal politicians were busily engaged 
in trying to account for the disasters of the recent election. 
They owed their defeat to Welsh Disestablishment, to local 
veto, to the opposition of Beer and Bible, or, as others put it, 
to Gin and Gospel ; they were beaten on Home Rule and on the 
question of the House of Lords ; they had lost because they 
no longer fought under Gladstone. 1 Beaten they certainly 
were, and a Government with a majority of 152 was not likely 
to be soon displaced from power. One result of the change 
was that Home Rule had disappeared. The Liberal Unionists 
had come back in renewed strength ; their leaders, Devonshire, 
Chamberlain, Goschen and James, had taken office, and these 
were far more Anti-Irish than the Tories themselves. Not 
even the Ulster Orangemen had attacked so severely the 
Nationalist leaders as Mr. Chamberlain. From a Government 
in which he held a commanding position the Irish had little 
to hope. This was evident when the new Ministers met the 
House of Commons in August. Though the assembling of 
Parliament was merely to wind up the business of the year and 
its sittings were not prolonged, many subjects were neverthe- 
less touched upon : the evicted tenants and agricultural depres- 
sion, Egypt and Uganda, the atrocities in Armenia and the 
massacres in China. But of Home Rule there was nothing, 
except a declaration from the Government that it would be 
firmly opposed. There was no promise even of Local Govern- 
ment for Ireland. But the Chief Secretary, Mr. Gerald 
Balfour, promised that an Irish Land Bill would be introduced 

1 Annual Register, pp. 182-6. 
420 



CONFLICTING VIEWS 01 MR. DILLON and mi:, iikai.s }*i 

(n the next session. No further measures apparently were to 
be Introduced, and it was disheartening for the Home Rulers 
to find that Lord Rosebei y again repeated his "predominant 
partner" speech, declaring In the House oi Lords thai Ireland 
could not get or expect Home Rule until England was convinced 

of its justice. 1 Nor did Lord Rosebery stand alone. The late 
Home Rule Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Crewe, had no hesitation in 

saying that he "thought the importance of Home Rule had 
been greatly exaggerated." He added that the continuance of 

Irish dissension was having a most injurious effect on British 
public opinion.- 

The serious, even fatal character of these dissensions 
compelled Mr. MacCarthy to say in a public speech that if unity 
was not restored " Irishmen must give up any idea of Home 
Rule for the present generation." 3 And yet the year 1895 
came and went without any unity being reached. The 
Parnellites, stubbornly resisting all invitations, would have 
nothing to do with a party numbering among its leaders such 
men as Mr. Dillon, " whose shallow and selfish ambition was, 
with Mr. Sexton's conceit, mainly responsible for the Parnell 
tragedy." 4 Instead of peace these Parnellites professed war, 
and at the General Election they fought the Anti-Parnellites 
with great determination, and having captured from them three 
seats, emerged from the contest stronger and more determined 
than ever. 

The Anti-Parnellites won Derry City from the Tories, and 
were therefore 70 after the General Election, compared 
with 72 at the dissolution. But though their numbers 
remained practically unchanged, their strength was seriously 
impaired by internal divisions. As in 1892, the trouble came 
chiefly from the rivalries of Mr. Healy and Mr. Dillon. Mr. 
Dillon's friends declared that nothing could satisfy Mr. Healy, 
that he was bent on ruining the party, dominated by a spirit of 
faction which nothing could exorcise. Mr. Healy 's friends, on 
the other hand, blamed Mr. Dillon, who was intriguing for the 

1 Annual Register, pp. 164-74. " Ibid. 201. 3 Ibid. 202. 

4 Independent, February 2, 1895. 



in 1 1 1 1 1 . 

hi an.i wished to crush Mr, I icily, believing him to be the 

chiei bis ambition. This, however, is not an accurate 

presentment of the Incompatible in temper, with different 

x and different intellectual gifts, no doubt personal 

antipathy ponsible for keeping them apart But 

they \ aUo cm matters of policy, 6Spe< i . 1 1 1 \ 

to the management *<t the National Party and the general con- 
duct of the National movement Mr. Dillon seems to have 
had a dread of anything like clerical predominance, believing 

that such would injure the Irish cause in Great Britain, and 

this partly, at least, explains his anxiety to win over the 
Parnellites, As in Parnell's time, he wanted to have the clergy 
on the one hand and the Fenians on the other acting together. 
Mr. Healy had lost all hope of conciliating the Parnellites, 
and wanted to fight them and beat them. He was satisfied 
that this could be done by the aid of the priests, who as a body 
were quite as patriotic as the Parnellites or Fenians. And 
he felt it was bad policy to lose the support of the priests, 
knowing well that no national movement could succeed without 
them. Mr. Healy's view also was that conventions for the 
selection of Parliamentary candidates should be thoroughly 
representative, and should be left free from needless interference 
on the part of members of Parliament. Mr. Dillon favoured 
the system in existence under Parnell, when conventions were 
indeed representative, yet were controlled by the Parliamentary 
managers. It had, on the whole, worked well, and in freeing 
men from local influences had made a homogeneous party 
animated rather by national than by local patriotism. But it 
engendered not a few complaints, and had introduced men into 
the party who were undesirable and incompetent — men who 
brought little credit to the party and were of little advantage 
to the public service. Mr. Healy would have the party funds 
to some extent controlled from outside ; Mr. Dillon would have 
them controlled by the party itself, and necessarily l also by a 
few within the party. A National Convention ought to have 
been called, Mr. Healy thought, before the General Election, so 

1 Freeman, Nov. 5, 1894. 



Tin: IRISH ill I i IONS 01 I 

to formulate .1 National policy. Mr. i>ill<>n preferred to 
have the conduct of the General Election delegated to .1 imall 
Committee within the party, from which Mr. Healy and hi. 
friends were excluded. 1 Finally, Mr, Healy was willing to 
accept concessions from the Tories just as he would from 
the Liberals. Mr. Dillon looked askance -it the Tories, and 
In the Liberals placed his hopes. Mr. Dillon's strength lay in 
the fact that most of the experienced men of the party, as ivell 
as a small majority of the whole members, shared his views. 

Hut Mr, Healy also had powerful support within the party, 

and his objections as to the character of the conventions, the 

interference of the party III such conventions, and the eontrol 
of the National funds were shared by large numbers among 
the constituents. So able a man, they thought, was worth con- 
ciliating. Had his objections been fairly met, and had he in 
spite of this persevered in a policy of faction, his supporters 
would have dwindled and he could have been easily crushed. 
But no serious attempt was made to meet his objections, and it 
was this, in addition to his vast ability, which made him so strong. 
At the General Election the divergent views of Mr. Dillon 
and Mr. Healy came into violent conflict, and were responsible 
for some painful scenes. In Kilkenny City the candidate 
selected, who was favourable to Mr. Healy, got no assistance 
from the Electoral Committee of the party, and the seat was 
lost to the Parnellites. East Wicklow was also lost owing to 
the same cause. 2 At the Convention in South Monaghan, Mr. 
Dillon attended and insisted on his right to take the chair. 
The delegates, or a majority of them, insisted on having a 
local priest, Canon Hoey, one of the most respected and patriotic 
priests in Ulster, and as Mr. Dillon refused to yield, he was 
assailed with cries of " No dictation," " No bossism," " A free 
convention." Ultimately, after a display of passion and 
disorder which were certainly not the heralds of unity and 
peace, a compromise was agreed to, and Dean Birmingham was 
voted to the chair. 3 Mr. Dillon also proceeded to Donegal 
and presided at the Convention there, hoping, says Mr. Healy, 

1 Healy, p. 116. 2 Ibid. 120. 3 Ibid. 119. 



\ I 1 l;ll 1 

Mi Arthui ( >'< onnor and Mr. T. 1 ). 

Sullivan 

in Mayo tin- chairman was Mr. Edward Blake. In three 
divisions there was no Int er fer e nce from the party and no 
conf But in North Mayo there was trouble with the late 

l [ealyite litting member, Mr. ( Yilly. 1 [j i n-< ord in the practii al 
work of legislation u.i^ n«>t ipecially brilliant, and his con- 

milt . were not particularly anxious for the retention of liis 

A few weeks before the Convention, the* Bishop of 

Killala, Dr, Conmy, and his priests had occasion to send their 

subscriptions to tin In h Party fund, and were quite ready to 

*pt any si I to the choice of their future member. 

Hut their subscriptions were not even acknowledged, and 
not a word was conveyed to them that Mr. Crilly ought to be 
replaced by a better man. On the day of the Convention, 
therefore, the North Mayo delegates, lay and cleric, came to 
( astlebar to support their late sitting member. Mr. Blake was 
.m Impartial chairman, and all would have proceeded smoothly 
but for the intervention of Mr. William O'Brien. He was then 
member for Cork City, and an old personal friend of Mr. 
Dillon. They had stood together on many a platform, had 
faced together many a danger, had shared together the priva- 
tions of imprisonment, and the first book Mr. O'Brien wrote he 
dedicated to his dear old friend, u in memory of anxious years 
and glorious hopes." As an ardent follower of Mr. Dillon he 
had said many things of Mr. Healy that were hard and bitter ; 
yet he had to bow to public opinion in Cork and accept Mr. 
Healy's brother Maurice as his Parliamentary colleague. But 
he would strike elsewhere, and travelling from Cork by a night 
train, he reached Castlebar in time for the Convention, and 
attacked Mr. Crilly as a follower and supporter of Mr. T. M. 
Healy, and as such unworthy to be the representative of North 
Mayo. There are few men equal to Mr. O'Brien as a platform 
orator. His fiery energy, his rapid eloquence, his vehemence 
and earnestness of tone and gesture are all-powerful with an 
Irish crowd, and on this occasion his energy was at fever heat, 
his words came forth like the lava tide. Not in Ireland was 



ink IRISH l.i.i< i i< »\ I 01 1895 

there a more publii spirited or mora patriotic body ol priesti 
than the priests of Killala, and at the Convention they 
represented their Bishop, who was as pul>li< -spirited and 1 
patriotic as themselvi Vet, under the influence of Mr. 

O'Brien's excited rhetoric, the)' weie hi.. rd and hooted, and 

as they and the lay delegates from North Mayo left the Con 

vention hall in solemn protest, the hooting and groaning con- 
tinued. As for Mr. Crilly, he was not even heard, and was, of 
COUrse, rejected, Mr. ( VBrien Was more than satisfied, and gl< 

full)- declared that M they had sent that da)- .1 message of unity 
and discipline that would ring throughout the world." * But 
the North Mayo delegates were determined men. As a protest 

against clamour and violence and dictation, they would have 
nothing to do with the nominee of the Convention, and Mr. 
Crilly in due course became M.P. for North Mayo. 

What took place at Omagh attracted even more attention 
than what took place at Castlebar. Mr. Dillon was in the 
chair, the Convention having been called to select candidates 
for South, Mid and East Tyrone. No delegates were present 
or had been invited from North Tyrone. Asked why this was 
so, Mr. Dillon was not very explicit in his answer. But Mr. 
Healy, who was present, gave the reason. There was, he said, 
a secret treaty with the Liberals by which, in consideration 
of a sum of £200 a year for registration purposes, North 
Tyrone was to be considered a Liberal seat. This treaty 
had been made through Mr. Blake, acting on the part of the 
Parliamentary Committee, but without consultation with the 
party ; and it had been made when North Tyrone, by 
Nationalist money and Nationalist effort in the work of 
registration, was already a Nationalist seat. The sensation 
created by this disclosure was great and did much harm to the 
Home Rule cause throughout Great Britain. Charged with 
once again playing the game of faction, and even with treason 
to the National cause, Mr. Healy replied that he had no other 
time or place to make his protest, and that in making it 
before a private meeting of Tyrone delegates he had no 

1 Healy, p. 117. 



it public, and thought that privacy had 

lent! i iired Re* ailing the >1 1 )ungai van in 

1846, when <»< onnell, against the pi oi the Young 

Icelanders, ha i Repeal Mat toa Whig place hunter, and 

i In i the evils which followed, Mr. Healy avowed that his 

intention was to le the National movement in 1895 from 

the reproaches and disastei which the affair .it Dungarvan 

had brought upon O'Connell and Repeal 1 Not many will be 

found to defend the time selected for the disclosure by Mr. 

Healy, just in the middle of a General Election. But it is 

not to defend the bargain he condemned. It ought not 

been made with any British part)', least of all with 

.1 party under the leadership of Lord Rosebcry. The Irish 
Party, at all events, were not prepared to approve of it, or to 
ndemn Mr. Healy, and when the usual ballot took place for 
the members of the Parliamentary Committee, he was, jointly 
with Mr. Uillon, placed at the head of the poll. Shortly after, 
however, he interfered in the South Kerry election, because, as 
he said, the Convention had been called irregularly and in the 
interests of Mr. Dillon. For this offence, following on the 
Omagh disclosures, he was before the close of the year 
expelled from the Committee of the Irish Party, from the 
executive of the Irish National League of Great Britain, and 
from the executive of the Irish National Federation." 

In the beginning of 1896 Mr. MacCarthy retired from the 
Chairmanship of the party. A literary man with a taste for 
politics, he was much at home in the House of Commons and 
liked the life there. But though possessed of courage and 
capacity, he was reluctant to assert himself, and was quite 
unable to suppress the rivalries and jealousies with which his 
party was rent and torn. He did not, however, take a 
despairing view of the future, and in the letter in which he 
announced his retirement he said that, after all, these rivalries 
were merely personal, and would not and did not " affect the 
vote of a single Irish Nationalist in the House of Commons 
when any Irish interest was concerned." 3 

1 Healy, pp. 122-6. 2 Ibid. 133-5. 3 Ibid. 141. 



THE CH \ii:ma.\ HIP 01 THJ m H PA1 I \ 

All eve : were then tinned on Mi n. We had tal 

no part in hunting down Healy, and In consequence bad given 

little offence. In Parliament he COUld moie than hold hi I 

even against Chamberlain and Balfour, and now that Gladstone 
was -.^one he was its greatest orator, interpreting th< 
the country, the Irish Party elected him unanimously to the 
vacant chair. But the diflfw ulty was with Mr. Sexton himself ; 
for he had ceased attending Parliament, and had announced i" 

July [895 that he would not return to it. "So far as con- 
cerns genuine service to the country," he said," I am COnvift 
that at present I may just as well be out of l'arliani' 
in it. Why should I deliberately associate myself with evils 
beyond my control, and incur responsibility for conscqucn 
which I may foresee, but have no competence to avert?" The 
unanimous vote of the whole party, it was thought, would 
change his views, for it would be hard to resist such a call 
when made for the sake of Ireland. To smooth his path still 
more, Mr. Healy wrote him the following letter : — 

House of Commons, 
14/// Feb. 1896. 

Dear Sexton — It has been suggested to me by some colleagues 
with whom I have been in close communication that a friendly note 
from me might have the effect of dissuading you from finally declining 
the honour which all of us recently united to pay you. I gladly 
comply with their wish, because the moments of difference between us 
are as nothing in contrast with the long years of comradeship through 
which we have worked side by side. 

The knowledge of the further perplexities which would take root in 
the party if you persist in your attitude should, I would urge, outweigh 
entirely the very natural desire for rest which your unstinted and 
unremitting labours have brought upon you. Moreover, with your 
acceptance of the Chairmanship I believe harmony would be restored 
in our ranks, and the country with renewed confidence would cheerfully 
rally to the support of its representatives in the struggle against Toryism 
which is before us. If my withdrawal from the party would purchase 
your acceptance, it is needless to say what pleasure it would afford me 
to consult at the same time the national interests and my private 
convenience. 

On the other hand, if, as I assume, the assurance of hearty and 



\ I \i . 01 i i it i 

vould be more ble t<> you, it ^ives me 

great pleasure t«» say that amongst those i"i whom 1 may he Allowed 

usti "niy one feeling, namely, •» detire to make your 

>»i the cl able as well ai honourable to you, well 

knowing th icit) ami geniui you bring to the service <»• the 

morement 

While 1 wnte t* » you undn of puhli* ohligation in view of 

the crrcum i 4 the country, it is gratifying also to make this 

imunication as i tribute to yoursell in raint ai knowledgrnent ol the 

brilliant sen u <• i to the i omraon < aute to whfc h I have been • «> l<>n^ a 

witness, l shall take the libert) oi publishing tin, letter in the pn 

in the hope that it may mtcrpu.e an additional difficulty in your way 
to making a further refusal. —Faithfully yours, 

T. M. Healy. 1 

Those who believed Mr. Healy an incurable factionist did 
not hesitate to say that he wrote in mockery and in insincerity. 
But all fair-minded Irishmen believed that he was earnest and 
sincere. Mr. Sexton, however, was obdurate. He had already 
declined the honour offered to him by the party, and now 
he repeated his refusal to Mr. Healy in a not too gracious 
reply. The country felt annoyed and surprised. Nor was it 
easy to understand why a man of such gifts should prefer an 
obscure position in Dublin to a proud position in a great 
assembly, where his talents, while serving the country he loved, 
would have attracted the admiration of the world. 

Then Mr. Dillon was elected to the chair. His election was 
not unanimous ; but in returning thanks he declared he would 
be no majority Chairman, but the Chairman of the whole party, 
and that under his Chairmanship every man in the party would 
get fair- play. 2 These were honest words and were honestly 
intended, and yet many who voted for Dillon must have asked 
themselves was he, after all, the best selection they could have 
made. His personal character indeed was above reproach. He 
had inherited his father's best qualities — his sympathy for the 
poor, his hatred of oppression, his deep love of country, his 
courage, his self-sacrifice. Every one knew that John Dillon 
had been in prison for Ireland, and that, had Ireland demanded 
1 Healy, pp. 146-7. 2 Ibid. 147. 



MR, DILLON ELECTED CHAIRMAN 

or required it, lie would ju il i readily have mounted the i iflbld 
Nor could his bitterest enemy deny hi. riy.ht to )>«■ ( al U-< 1, as 
he often was, Honest John Dillon. Bui he could be .ill tl 
.nut not lx % the best selection for the chaii ol the Irish Party in 
iS<;<>. For one thing, the Parnellites would not erv< under 

him J and cordial cooperation with Mr. Mealy and hi. friends 

was not to be expected after the event, oi the last I ara. 

Indeed, Mr. Dillon was quite unable to conciliate opposition. 
Like Parnell, he had the Committee of the party abolished and 

ruled alone. But Parnell delegated B good deal of work to 
Others, keeping OUt of sight himself. Dillon was more reluctant 
to part with any power except to a favoured few who were his 
Special friends. I le controlled the National funds, he very largely 
controlled the Freeman's journal, he attended conventions, he 
made speeches week after week, almost day after day, and 
after his election to the chair he spoke of opposition to himself 
with great severity. This was not the best way to attract 
adherents or win over opponents. Many suggested that a 
National Convention should be called, whose voice, speaking in 
the name of Ireland, should be heard and its mandate obeyed, 
and that thus would union come. But Mr. Dillon was averse, 
and one of his chief supporters, Mr. T. P. O'Connor, declared 
that such a gathering would be nothing better than a Donny- 
brook Fair. Gradually, however, Mr. Dillon's objections to a 
Convention disappeared ; but instead of a National Convention 
of Irishmen at home, he would have a Convention of the Irish 
race. The Irish abroad, as well as those at home, had liberally 
subscribed to National funds, and Mr. Dillon naturally thought 
that all had a right to be called in and to say what was best 
for Ireland's future. 1 

This Convention met in Dublin on the ist of September 
1896. It was a large gathering, mustering in all 2500 
delegates. They came over many seas and from many lands 
— from the teeming cities of Great Britain ; from New York 
and Philadelphia and Boston and distant Montana ; from the 
populous centres of Canada ; from Nova Scotia and Newfound- 

1 Healy, pp. 162-3. 



\ I . : I! I. 

land , from the settling British ( olonii bed by 

; Southern from Cape Colony and Griqualand 

West; from Kimberley, the diamond cit) of the English; and 

i Johannes! ilden city of tl><- Boers. Pri< it . 

professional men, merchants, journalists, ncd politicians, 

they differed in many things, but all d In their love for 

ind and lifted up their voices in the cause of unity and 

at home They were not able to understand so well as 

the home delegates the disputes and wrangles between Irish 

iticians, and it was in every sense regrettable that no effort 

made to have these home delegates fully repre se ntative of 

ionalist Ireland. In 1 200 Irish parishes there were but 
49O branches of the National Federation, 1 and many of these 
branches were moribund in 1896. One of Mr. Dillon's 
Strongest supporters, Mr. M'Hugh, M.P., called public attention 
to the fact that such an organization could not of itself repre- 
sent Nationalist Ireland or effect a reunion of Nationalist 
forces. "If the Convention was so constituted that only one 
party out of two, or two parties out of three, were prepared to 
accept its decisions, then its proceedings could not secure the 
re-establishment of unity." And he suggested that other bodies 
outside the Federation should be represented. But Mr. Dillon 
disagreed with him, and when the Convention opened its doors 
neither the followers of Mr. Redmond nor those of Mr. Healy 
were present. 2 

During the three days its sittings lasted, Dr. O'Donnell, 
Bishop of Raphoe, presided, and in opening the proceedings 
he spoke eloquently, as he always does. Able speeches were 
also made by Mr. Dillon, Mr. Blake, Mr. O'Brien and Mr. T. P. 
O'Connor, and by many of the delegates, home and foreign. 
But while much was said on questions of National policy, on 
agrarian, industrial and educational reform, and on Home Rule, 
there was no serious attempt made to bridge over the chasm 
which yawned between contending Nationalists. Father Flynn, 
a Waterford priest, proposed to appoint a committee of 
arbitration of the home and foreign delegates to draw up a set 
1 Healy, p. 136. 2 Ibid. 143-4. 



row EN i i<>\ 01 THE m \H R \« i 43' 

of rules forming a common platform upon which .ill Irish 
Nationalists might stand united And Father Phillips, an 
American priest, reminding hi i audience that men have "pinion , 
and that these opinions are sometimes honestly expressed, 
deprecated harsh measures and was quite sure that more flies 
were caught by molasses than by vineg 

But tin- voices raised for COnCOPd and pcur were feeble and 

faint, and were drowned in the shriller notes of defiance and 
war. Mi. T. 1*. O'Connor poured ridicule on Father Flynn's 

suggestions. Father Phillip's views were treated with scant 

COUrtesy, Mr. O'Brien taunted Mr. Ilcaly and his friends 
with having failed to face the music, and therefore having 
allowed judgment to go by default. Mr. Blake would have- 
nothing to do with interference from outside in the management 
of the party funds. Mr. Dillon would allow no man in the 
party to flout his authority, and if any man did, no matter 
how great his abilities might be — this was evidently meant for 
Mr. Healy — he would ask him to withdraw from the party 
altogether. And a resolution was passed calling upon the 
Irish Party to take such steps as they found necessary for the 
establishment of unity and discipline in their own ranks. 1 

Mr. Dillon interpreted this resolution as a mandate to 
crush all opponents. During the following winter he made 
many speeches throughout Ireland and Great Britain, all in the 
same strain. He claimed to be a patient man, a long-suffering 
man, a man who kept his temper no matter how much he was 
provoked, a man who worked by conciliation and kindness for 
unity and peace. But in the midst of these peaceful protesta- 
tions he sternly insisted on discipline being enforced. He 
spoke as the duly-elected Chairman of the Irish Party rather 
than as an individual ; he spoke as the representative of the 
party, its head, its accredited champion, clothed with its full 
authority, and therefore entitled to respect and obedience 
from every member of the party, even from those who differed 
from him and disliked him. These gentlemen must leave 

1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 677-81 ; Healy, pp. 164-70; Freemaris 
Journal. 



VI' I MK1I 1. 

Uu- party — he had no objection if they set up i party for 
themselves, he p refer red to them do so to being dis- 

loyal Against Mr. Healy he wras ipecially bitter, and more 
than once be held meetings to denounce him In Mr. Healy's 
natituency o( North Louth. Neither from Mr. Healy nor 

from any other member must criticism be directed towards the 

party. "We in the Irish Party," he said, "can't stand 

in." Mr. O'Brien went quite as far as Mr. Dillon, and, 

like him, wa cially enra [ainst Mr, Healy. So much 

this the case that when Mr. O'Brien begged the Archbishop 
of Dublin to arbitrate between contending Nationalists, he 

luded Mr. Healy. The country would deal with him, which 
meant that he must be driven from public life. When the 
party met in the beginning of 1897, new and stringent rules 
were adopted, making it penal for any member of the party to 
oppose Mr. Dillon in the House of Commons, and imposing new 
and onerous conditions on those who wanted sustenance from 
the party funds. 

Yet these measures of coercion did not establish unity or 
promote peace. Mr. Knox, one of the most brilliant of the 
younger members of the party, defined this resolution as 
imposing a new constitution on the party, and, being formally 
expelled, had his action approved by his constituents at 
Derry. Mr. Healy equally flouted the resolutions passed as 
ultra vires, and declared that the powers conferred on the 
Chairman were such as had never been given to a chairman 
before, and that " the invention or enforcement of additional 
obligations is subversive of the constitution of the party, and an 
invasion of public and individual rights." Nearly twenty of 
the members refused to accept the conditions imposed on them 
as a qualification for payment from the party funds, and for 
these a sum of money was obtained by public subscription. 
The priests kept off Mr. Dillon's platforms. The Archbishop 
of Cashel replied to an invitation to attend one of these meet- 
ings by simply saying that he was in favour of every National 
movement. The Archbishop of Dublin met Mr. O'Brien's 
appeal to arbitrate between Parnellites and Dillonites by a 



\ik. i:\i.i OUR 9 LAND PUN HAS! kCl 

refusal. He thought .1 union which would leave out Mr. Healy 
"would stand, to '<.iv the least <>i it, In a position <d somewhat 
unstable equilibrium." Cardinal Logue objected to the meet 
i held In Louth and Armagh to denounce Mi Healy; M he 
did not want his Archdiocese turned Into a beai garden by 
contending factions." Mr, Dillon's opponents, pointing to his 
speeches, asked wen- they not right in calling him a boss, and 
had not their prediction of his Chairmanship been fulfilled? 
Even Mr. Dillon's friends were not quite easy in their mind.. 
In i So:! he had ridiculed the notion that there could be 

absolute unanimity in the Irish Party. To cntcrt;iin such a 
notion would be to assume that the party was a party without 
brains. 1 This speech was certainly more worthy of a con- 
stitutional leader and of Mr. Dillon than his speeches in 1896 
and 1897. I' 1 no constitutional party can cast-iron unity be 
obtained, and any party which claims to be above criticism is 
almost certainly below it Nor could any one shut his eyes to 
the fact that in 1897 and 1898 the party was utterly dis- 
organized and utterly worthless as a weapon of reform. 2 

In these circumstances Ireland had little to expect from the 

Imperial Parliament, and yet such is the wayward course of 

destiny that it was during this period of strife and confusion 

that some great remedial measures were obtained. In 1896 

Mr. Gerald Balfour, the Chief Secretary, introduced the Land 

Bill which he had promised in the previous year. In spite of 

the obvious purpose of the Act of 1881, as expressed in the 

Healy clause, tenants were still rented on their improvements. 

Many classes of tenants were altogether excluded from the 

benefits of that Act, and the Act of 1891, with its clogging 

limitations and conditions, had not much stimulated land 

purchase. The Bill of 1896 was intended to remedy these 

defects, to admit to the benefits of the Act of 1881 tenants 

hitherto excluded, to protect tenants' improvements and to 

stimulate land purchase. 3 The Bill also was intended to give 

1 Healy, p. 74. 
2 Ibid. 171-82 ; MacCarthy, The Story of an Irishman, pp. 374-6. 

3 Hansard, 4th series, vol. xli. p. 630 (Mr. Morley's Speech). 
Vol. Ill 98 



\ 1 I I I III 

tnti w 1 1* > had already purchased. It extended the 
payment from fort] nine to eventy 3 providing 

th a .it the i-ikI 1 le thei uld \>r .1 reduction of 

the yearly Instalment, regard being had to the ftu t that at ea< h 

h period the principal due was less, and Instalments due 

in lieu of principal and intere I ihould be therefore lessened. 

la] reductions o( nearlj 20 per cent were thus obtained, 

Mi. Dillon'-, attitude towards the Hill was not friendly. 
Always distrustful of Irish landlords, he said that the Bill fell 

ihort of what the times demanded. It was, besides,, com- 
plicated and Intricate, and would afford a profitable field for 
litigation. lie therefore denounced it as "a rotten sham and 
fraudulent Hill," and he assailed Mr. Redmond because the 
latter welcomed the Hill instead of attacking it. Nor did it 
dispose him to be friendly when he saw that Mr. Healy shared 
Mr. Redmond's view. Still he would endeavour to amend it, 
and had a Committee of the party appointed to draw up 
amendments. On this Committee Mr. Healy's name was 
placed. He had, however, not been consulted beforehand, and 
had no intention of serving. He had, he said, been recently 
expelled from the Committee of the party, and he was at a loss 
to know why this unsolicited honour should now be paid him. 
" I am happy to think that a Committee otherwise composed 
of so many able men does not require my assistance, and my 
recollection of the subject from former years remains sufficiently 
distinct to enable me to hope that I shall not require theirs." l 
As a matter of fact the amendments of the Party Committee 
were not fortunate enough to be accepted in Committee. Mr. 
Healy and his brother were more successful, and owing to them 
and to Mr. Redmond, the Bill was considerably amended and 
improved. As usual, the House of Lords, being a House of 
landlords, struck out some of these amendments. When the 
Lords' amendments were agreed to in the Commons, Mr. Dillon 
protested, declaring that in its final shape the Bill was worse 
than when first introduced. Mr. Davitt went further, and 
opposed it at every stage, as an amalgam of fraud and hypocrisy. 

1 Healy, p. 154, 22nd April. 



i in. OVER rAXATION OF IRELAND 

But the Government was no! In i yielding mood Win n Mr. 
Balfour was Introducing the Bill, he plainly Intimated that it it 
were opposed by the re p resentatives ol the Irish t< it 

would be Instantly dropped Ata latei itage Mr. Chamberlain 

made it rlcir th.it the Bill was inc. tut to l><- m >n < « .n!« :.t i< .11 ., 

and ii Mi'- Dillon's de •< riptlon of it was endoi ed by all : 
friends it would be abandoned Compelled then to accept 
reject, Mr, Dillon accepted and the Bill passed, though Mr. 
Dillon was plainly right that it could not be regarded as a final 
settlement 1 

In the following year the unusual spectacle was seen of 

Orangemen and Nationalists, Parnellites and Anti- Parnellites 
combining on an Irish question. In i 894 a Royal Commission 
had been appointed to inquire into the financial relations 
between Great Britain and Ireland and their relative taxable 
capacity."' Presided over by Mr. Childers, lately Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, and including among its members such able 
financiers as Mr. Sexton and the O'Connor Don, man)' 
witnesses were examined, mostly high officials whose position 
and experience enabled them to speak with authority on 
financial matters. 3 Briefly, the tale that these officers had to 
tell was that Ireland was being robbed by Great Britain, that 
the fiscal clauses of the Act of Union were grossly unjust, and 
that the injustice then perpetrated had continued and increased. 
Under an Irish Parliament, bad and corrupt as it had been, 
taxation was light and the National Debt small. 4 

Since the Union all that had been changed. The cost of 
suppressing the rebellion of 1798 and of passing the Union was 
placed on Ireland ; its taxation and debt was therefore increased 
and continued to increase, until in 1 8 1 7 it ceased to have its 
separate Chancellor of the Exchequer, its separate National 
Debt, and its separate Annual Budget. 5 Fiscal unity, however, 
was not even then established between the two countries. 
Regard was had to England's growing wealth and to Ireland's 

1 Hansard, 4th series, vols. xli. xliii. xliv. 

- Lough, England's Wealth, Ireland's Poverty, pp. 9-10. 

3 Lough, p. 5. 4 Ibid. 203. 5 Ibid. 14. 



1 1 li I 

rty. When Sii Rober] Peel impoied the 

taa be bad not extended it to Ireland. 1 in 1S53, 

how Mi (j! e hid extended it, and leaving <>ut some 

taller Itetm oi taxation, Racal unity became an accomplished 

Since then u ■ I hancellora have been careful to 

itady the 1 oi Great Britain and have ignored the 

special needs of Ireland. 1 A high tax, for instance, has been 

im; piritS, which is an Irish industry ; a light tax on 

?, which Is more usually drunk across the Channel. 1 Tea 

and tobacco,' mm h used in Ireland, had also been heavily 
! , and while the wealth of Ireland had decreased and her 
population had been reduced by millions, a police force had 
been maintained out of all proportion to the population, and a 
civil service the most expensive in Europe. 

With the knowledge of all these things the Royal Com- 
mission found : 

1. That for the purposes of this inquiry Great Britain and 

Ireland should be considered as separate entities. 

2. That the Act of Union imposed on Ireland a burden she 

was unable to bear. 

3. That the increased taxation put upon Ireland between 

1853 and i860 was not justified. 

4. That identity of rates of taxation does not necessarily 

involve equality of burden. 

5. That though the actual revenue of Ireland compared to 

that of Great Britain was one eleventh, its taxable 
capacity was no more than a twentieth, 6 and as a 
consequence that Ireland was being overtaxed to the 
amount of more than £3, 000,000 a year. 

Here was common ground for all Irishmen, and with the 
view of taking joint action in Parliament a conference of all 
Irish representatives was summoned. The issuing circular was 
signed by Messrs. Healy and Redmond, by Mr. Horace 
Plunkett, the Unionist M.P. for South Dublin, and by Colonel 

1 Lough, p. 45. - Ibid. 72. 3 Ibid. 50-51. 4 /<W# 43-44. 

5 Ibid. 85. 6 Davitt, p. 690; Lough. 



IRISH L0< \ I. GOVERNMEN I 

Saunderson, the Orange leader. Mi. Dillon al Rwl held aloof, 
but he subsequently attended the conference, though he refu 

to support the resolution which it was proposed to move In the 
House of Commons, This was; "That the findings of the 
Royal Commission on the financial relation, between Gi 
Britain and Ireland disclose a disproportion between the 
taxation ol' Ireland and its taxable capacity as compared with 
the other parts <>f the kingdom, which is inconsistent with the 

Spirit of the Act of Union and demands the immediate 

attention of Parliament" Mr. Dillon's alternative resolution 

was moved in the House of Commons by Mr. Blake, It was, 
however, opposed by all the Unionists, and was defeated by an 
overwhelming majority. 1 Several public meetings were sub- 
sequently held in Ireland, but they came to nothing, and the 
unjust taxation of Ireland continued. 

Hut if the Government, strong in its majority, could set 
Irish agitation and Irish unity at defiance, and so make no 
serious attempt to readjust the fiscal burdens of Ireland and 
Great Britain, they could at least do something in relief of 
local taxation. Mr. Knox, M.P. for Dcrry, in 1896, moved 
that such relief should be given by extending the Agricultural 
Rating Act to Ireland, and thus relieve local rates as had 
been already done in England and Scotland. His motion was 
defeated, but it was renewed next year, on which occasion it 
was supported by the Irish Unionists. Again he was defeated. 
But a state of things which placed the Irish farmer at such 
a disadvantage compared with his British brother, and this 
in the face of the recent Report of the Financial Relations 
Commission, was too much even for Unionist newspapers, and 
the unyielding attitude of the Government was condemned. 
Inspired, it was said, by Mr. Chamberlain, Ministers retraced 
their steps. It was agreed to give £750,000 a year in relief 
of local rates ; and this grant was accompanied by a Local 
Government Bill which passed into law in the session of 1898. 
This measure effected a revolutionary change in the system of 
county and district government. Hitherto non -representative 
1 Annual Register, 1897, p. 105. 



♦ I >i I i in E 

Grind Juries managed county affairs — the repairs 
i : ind bi i ounty hospital , asylum , 1 1 nit hou 

Hid induitrial icbooli They had the sppointment of all 
count) the duty of providing guarantees foi tramwi 

01 railways when such required guarantees, and they had the 
to levy and collect tax* for all these purposes. As 
Justices of the Peace they sal as tx offici at the Boards of 
Guard! snd in this way often exercised a control!; 
influence in the administration of poor relief, They had besides 
the duty <>t considering all criminal cast s preliminary to 

having such i I at the ("ounty Assizes. Appointed by 

the Hi^h Sheriff, almost invariably a landlord, they were 
themselves landlords, with all the prejudices of the landlord 
i lass ; and whenever landlord privileges were assailed by 
agitation or violence, they were prodigal of resolutions demand- 
ing coercion laws. Under the Local Government Act they 
were still allowed to meet at Assizes and consider criminal 
cases. But their fiscal and administrative powers were trans- 
ferred to popularly elected bodies. For the county the new 
body was the County Council, for the Unions the new body 
was the District Council. The franchise was to be the same 
as the Parliamentary franchise, and for membership every one 
of full age and of mental capacity, even women, was eligible. 
The only persons excepted were clergymen, the exclusion being 
due to the Parnellites, this, no doubt, in revenge for the 
opposition they had encountered at elections from the priests. 1 

To induce the representatives of the Irish landlords to 
acquiesce in the loss of their enormous powers, half the sum of 
£750,000 voted for relief of local taxation was to be given to 
the landlords. They had hitherto paid half the poor rates, and 
by this grant were entirely relieved. The other half of the 
sum named went in relief of county cess, and was so far a boon 
to tenants who had hitherto been compelled to pay the whole 
of the county cess. The Bill met with a favourable reception 
from all sides. Mr. Healy and Mr. Redmond praised it, Mr. 

1 A Guide to Irish Local Government, by Muldoon and M 'Sweeney. 
Dublin, 1898. 



mi;, hoi: \< I i 1.1 m.i TT 

Dillon Acknowledged that it would effect a f.u rcachii 

revolution in tin- ( ondit ions of hi h I uim<iit and 

Irish local life, The hi-.h Unioni tl a< l [Ulc M «•« I because tl 

were relieved from the payment ol poor rat The)- swallowed 
the disagreeable dose when mixed with such ■ soothing 

draught 1 In BUCh circumstances the Hill p.e.Mcl with little 

opposition, and for the first time powei pe sed from non 
representative and often corrupt bodies Into the hand-, of the 
people. 

In the next year was passed an "Act for establishing i 
Department o( Agriculture and Technical Instruction in Ireland 

and for other purposes connected therewith." This concession 
was chiefly due to Mr. Horace Plunkett, M.P. He was 1 
Protestant without a trace of bigotry ; an admirer of Ulster 
energy and enterprise, but abhorring Orange intolerance ; a 
landlord, but an indulgent one ; a Unionist who gave credit to 
Home Rulers for good intentions ; loyal to England, but 
condemning her oppression of Ireland in the past. Familiar 
with agricultural conditions on both sides of the Atlantic, he 
saw that Ireland — a purely agricultural country — was hope- 
lessly outclassed in competition with other nations. Without 
looking to Government for aid, he thought that Irishmen might 
do much to help themselves. Outside the noisy arena of 
political combat, and laying aside for the moment their political 
and religious prejudices, he could not see why Irish farmers 
could not come together in association and combination. 
They could talk over their difficulties ; they could combine to 
obtain better and cheaper manures and machinery and more 
favourable transport facilities ; they could look for more suit- 
able markets for their agricultural produce. But a landlord 
and a Unionist talking to National farmers was a voice crying 
in the wilderness, and it was not until 1894 that the Irish 
Agricultural Organization Society (I.A.O.S.) was established. 
Its progress was rapid, and by the end of 1898 there were 
branches in every county in Ireland. Some of these were 
agricultural societies, a greater number were dairy societies, 

1 Annual Register, p. 69. 



140 YEARS 01 i i n i 

oth poultry < n home Indu itrii ti and In not a 

i there urert agricultural banl At the central 

branch I ttholic pi I and Unionist peers, landlords and 
f.n i rdially, and In the country districts Catholii 

it clergymen wert frequently present at the same 

At the close of 1895 Mr - Plunkett thought the time had 
i • t - appeal to the ( i raiment For the time Home Rule 

had d to be a living Issue; but Mr. Plunkett believed 

.Id be no difficulty in obtaining from Government the 
kblishment ol an Agricultural lio.ud sucli as already existed 
in England, if only the Irish members would put forth a united 
and definite demand. With this object he invited all the 
Irish member-, and a few other prominent men to a conference 
at the close of the session of 1895. It was hence called the 
Rec< ( ommittee. The Anti - Parnellites held aloof, Mr. 
MacCarthy declaring that the object of Mr. Plunkett was to 
\\( in the people from Home Rule. Mr. Redmond, however, 
and his party joined in, as did many Unionists. Mr. T. P. 
Gill, once a Parnellite M.P., and an exceedingly able man, 
acted as secretary, and to obtain information he travelled 
through France and Denmark. Other valuable reports came 
from Wurtemberg, Belgium and Bavaria. Finally, Mr. Plunkett 
presented the Report of the Recess Committee in the autumn 
of 1 896. He was careful to point out that he and his 
colleagues relied on individual and combined effort rather than 
on State aid. "In asking," he said, " for the latter we have 
throughout attached the utmost importance to its being granted 
in such a manner as to evoke and supplement the former ; and 
if at the outset we appear to give undue prominence to the 
capabilities of State initiation, it must be remembered that 
we are dealing with economic conditions which have been 
artificially produced, and may therefore require exceptional 
treatment of a temporary nature to bring about a permanent 
remedy." 2 Mr. Balfour's reply was sympathetic, but nothing 

1 Annual Register, p. 209. 
2 Report of the Recess Committee, edited by T. P. Gill. 



Tin LIB! R \l. LEAD! RSI1II | | I 

w.i I dour till [899, wlu-ti the Act setting up an Agricultural 
Board, with .1 revenue of nearly >,0O0 I year, became Law. 

These concessions were the more remarkable when the 
weakness of the Opposition 1- considered. Lord Etosebery had 
proved an unfortunate selection as leader of the Liberals s 

man without any deep conviction or any fixity oi purpo 

Finding himsell unable to excite enthusiasm or command 
Sufficient support, and that he appeared to divide th- 

and try the faith of Liberals, he resigned the leadership In 

October [896. 1 Without any formal recognition, Sir William 

llarcourt became leader; but he also had to complain that 
he was not given the undivided support of the party. In fa< t, 

Lord Rosebery's friends distrusted him and held aloof from 

him, and would have evidently preferred to follow some one 
else, now that Lord Rosebcry was gone. In these circum- 
stances Sir William Ilarcourt wished to abandon a position 
which he could not creditably fill. u I cannot," he said, " and 
I shall not consent to be a candidate for any contested 
position." He considered that a part)' rent by sectional dis- 
putes and personal interests could do nothing, and that a 
disputed leadership beset by distracted sections and com- 
plicating interests is an impossible situation.' 2 Thus in the last 
days of 1898 the Liberal Party was again without a leader. 

Meantime the old warrior who had so often led the Liberal 
hosts to victory had disappeared from the scene. Hating 
oppression to the last, he was enraged at the awful massacres 
of the Armenians by the Turks, and flinging aside the burden 
of years, he came forth from his books to arraign the Turks 
before mankind. His regret was that he was no longer able 
to assail them as he had formerly when they had been guilty 
of the Bulgarian atrocities. His last speech was at Liverpool 
in the end of 1896, a really marvellous performance for one on 
the threshold of his eighty-seventh year. During the next 
twelve months his vital energies grew weaker and weaker, and 
in May 1898 the end came. When it was announced, 
messages of condolence came from every part of the civilized 
1 Annual Register, p. 190. 2 Ibid. 19 1-3. 



441 HEARS O] B1 Ml E 

\ In Westminster Abbey was in due cow 

I to • the remaioi oi the Ulustrioui dead, and in 

I'ai it eloquent tributes were paid by the party leaders to 

the memo ne who had bed lustre upon the i n ;liah name, 

.nid even upon the human race. 1 Mr, Dillon, on the part oi 
the Irish membe with feeling and with eloquence, and 

. pari of Ireland there waa a responsive echo to his 
words For the great iman was loved and honoured in 

the cabins ol the Irish poor. More than any other Englishman, 

living or dead, he had labo ur ed <>n their behalf. He had freed 
them from the oppressions of an alien Church and from the 
grinding tyranny of a hated land system, and he had endeavoured 

to bring hack to them their lost Parliament ; and when they 
remembered these things they poured benedictions upon his 
name.' 2 

At that date the Irish Party had fallen low in public 
esteem. Its unity and usefulness were gone. Individual 
members by their ability might make an impression in the 
11 use of Commons, but the party as such was absolutely 
powerless. In Ireland the public refused to subscribe to its 
maintenance, and little assistance came from across the 
Atlantic. Mr. Dillon did his best, but too much time was 
spent in denunciation of Mr. Healy, on whom the blame for 
everything was thrown. There was no real attempt, however, 
to meet the objections which Mr. Healy made. At last, Mr. 
Dillon realized that under his leadership unity was impossible, 
and in 1898 he suggested a conference of Parnellites and 
Anti-Parnellites. He even resigned the chair, professing his 
willingness to serve under a Parnellite chairman, a noble act of 
self-effacement and patriotism. But no Parnellite attended the 
conference except Mr. O'Kelly, though Mr. Harrington had 
already been working to bring about Union. Mr. Healy also 
was not averse, so long as Mr. Dillon was not in the chair. 
And Mr. O'Brien started the United League in 1898, an 
organization which was meant to take the place both of the 
National Federation and of what remained of the National 
1 Morley, ii. 760-73. 2 Review of Reviews, June 1898. 



r\i:\i i.i i 11 B \M» am i P iRNl LL1 PI O >AL1 I I 

I .(Mi.Mic. Spreading Into othei counties, the new organization 
spoke out for harmony among th<- leaders, and threatened with 
extinction those who still clung to the course oi faction. Th( 
concurring causes were fruitful ol good, and In 1900, after ten 

years of Wasting war, all partic, < .uric tOgethei ! Mr. Dillon 

ceased to be Chairman, and Mr, Redmond, the Parnellite leader, 
took his place, and unity became an accomplished fat t 



HAPTER XIX 

The Nezu Century 

Win n the old century went out the British Empire was at 

uar with the two Boet republics of South Africa, the Orange 
River Free State and the Transvaal. Partly Outch, partly 
rman, partly French Huguenots, these Boers had settled in 
Cape Colony in the seventeenth century, and in 1815 came for 
the fir^t time under British rule. Being slave - owners, and 
resenting bitterly the emancipation of their slaves in 1834, 
thousands of them (1834-7) trekked from Cape Colony 
northwards, settling in the territory which extends from the 
Orange River to the Limpopo, and finally forming two 
independent republics. They were a fighting race, fighting 
with the natives whom they dispossessed, fighting with the 
Zulus, fighting with the British, fighting among themselves. 
In 1877 the Transvaal was annexed by England; in 1880 
the Boers rose in rebellion and defeated the British at Majuba 
Hill. The following year Mr. Gladstone gave back the 
Transvaal its independence, subject only to a shadowy British 
suzerainty, which became still more shadowy after the London 
Convention of 1884. The discovery of the Rand gold-fields 
brought thousands of miners, mostly British, to the Transvaal, 
and then fresh troubles began. The new owners — the 
Uitlanders, as they were called — had brought energy and 
capital, and soon made the Transvaal rich. But they could 
get no political rights, no votes, no share in the government ; 
and at every turn they were hampered and harassed by 
corrupt officials, by insolent policemen, by excessive taxes, by 
Government concessions and monopolies. But the autocratic 
Transvaal chief, President Kruger, was unyielding. He dis- 

444 



i ill IRISH FAVOUR TH1 BOl 

liked the British. He had formerly trekked from Cape* olony, 
and now he was again hemmed In by those from whom 
he had fled. Eastward was the small Portuguese territo 
^i Lorenzo Marques, but south and south easl were the British 
Colonies of the Cape and Natal, while west wa the British 
possession oi Bechuanaland, and north the British flag had , 
been hoisted in the land of the Matabele, Krugei angrily 
declared he and his burghers were shut up in a kraal. The 
British authorities took sides with the (Jitlanders, and 
negotiations failed, war broke out in the end of 1899. 

Large numbers of Irish Nationalists both inside and 

outside Parliament sympathized with the Bo The sight of 

a small nation of fanners entering into a Struggle with the 
mighty British Empire was one which appealed to the imagina- 
tion. Every lover of freedom found it hard to repress his 
admiration at the gallant stand which these farmers made ; nor 
was there scarce a parallel in history for the valour with which 
they encountered veteran troops, the skill with which they 
outmanoeuvred experienced generals, and the victories which 
they gained even when vastly outnumbered by their foes. 
But with all their fine qualities these Boers were narrow- 
minded and illiberal, excessively cruel to their coloured 
servants, fanatically attached to their own creed, and fanatically 
intolerant of other creeds. As for Catholics, they regarded 
them as did the Scotch Covenanters of the seventeenth century, 
and had they taken possession of Cape Town the Catholics 
there dreaded the utter ruin of their Church. And yet the 
Boer leaders were regarded as heroes in Ireland, and the news 
of every Boer victory hailed with enthusiasm. Deeply 
humiliated because of the disasters which had overtaken their 
arms, the English bitterly resented the conduct of the Irish. 
The Unionists pointed to these manifestations of hatred to- 
wards England, and used them as an argument against Home 
Rule ; and at the General Election in October 1 900 the Liberals 
were taunted with being the allies of traitors who cheered 
England's enemies and longed for the dismemberment of the 
British Empire. Nor can there be any doubt that voters 



I 111 M.W ( l.M I KY 

thui influenced and votes lost to the friend* of Home 

i their iide the Liberals retorted that the Union! 

though many yens In office, had done nothing to redeem the 

pron the)- had formerly made- .it the poll*. They had 

to give better houses to the working classes in 

towns, and nothing t<» lighten the burden of poverty and old 

pension! to the aged poor. The Liberals also 

dplained that the Unionists had dissolved on a worn-out 
i Bill these accusations were made in vain. The 
Unionists had selected their time well, when the disasters of 
the early part of the war were forgotten in the news of Lord 
Roberts' recent victories. In the autumn of 1900 it was 
believed in England — erroneously, as it proved — that the war 
u,h over ; and the fact that the Boers had been beaten, that 
Majuba had been avenged, and that in consequence the richest 

Id-fields in the world would soon be a British possession, was 
highly agreeable to British pride as well as to British greed. 
The Unionists were therefore returned with an enormous 
majority. Their total strength was 402 ; their opponents 
being but 268, of these 186 being Liberals and 82 Nationalists. 
This meant no change in Ireland. South Dublin and a 
division of Dublin City had been wrested from the Unionists, 
but the latter had won Derry City and Galway. 1 

With Parnellites and Anti-Parnellites acting together the 
Nationalists ought to have done better. The explanation is 
that the spirit of faction still survived. Mr. William O'Brien 
was then the most potent man among the popular leaders. 
His organization, the United Irish League, by advocating 
compulsory purchase, had readily obtained recruits among the 
farmers, and had already extended so much that it became the 
dominant factor at elections, and it had powerfully, even 
decisively, operated in bringing Parnellites and Anti-Parnellites 
together. But while Mr. O'Brien welcomed the adhesion of 
Mr. Redmond, he wanted no co-operation with Mr. Healy. At 
League meetings Mr. Healy's friends were spoken of as public 
1 Annual Register, pp. 194-211. 



DEATH Of QUI EW VK i< >i i \ i i; 

enemies, and when Mr, Healy refused to attend the National 
Convention in June, he was fiercelj assailed I ii i friend 
hunted down at the General Election, and driven from the 
they had filled, and Mr. Healy himsell was also attacked in 
North Louth by Mi. O'Brien in person. His constituents, 
however, were resolved not to part with their brilliant member, 

and Mi. Mealy w.i I returned. Hut when the ( iiki.i1 Election 
was over, a National Convention was ,r,un summoned and met 
in December, and one of its first aets was tO attach Mr. 

Ileal). His expulsion from the party was proposed by Mr 

O'Brien himself in a speech of great eloquence and great 
bitterness. The motion was supported by Mr. Dillon, and 
though opposed strongly, even vehemently, by Mr. Harrington, 

it was carried. Mr. Redmond, who filled the chair, disapproved 

of what was being done, wishing for a real union among all 
Irish Nationalists, but he bowed to the declared will of the 
Convention, and Mr. Healy was driven from the party. 1 

In April 1 900 the Queen paid a visit to Ireland. It was 
said she wanted, in doing so, to mark her appreciation of the 
conduct of the Irish soldiers in the war, who in every battle in 
which they were engaged had shown the traditional valour of 
their race. In January of the next year the Queen died. 
During her reign, in its length unprecedented in British history, 
the Empire had advanced enormously in trade and commerce, 
in extent of possessions, in population and in wealth. The 
standard of comfort among the masses had become higher, 
popular liberties had been so extended that the people had 
become the masters in the land, and though other nations had 
grown great and other empires risen, England was still the 
unquestioned mistress of the sea. The people respected their 
Sovereign because of the pride she took in her world -w r ide 
Empire, because of her devotion to her public duties, because of 
her tact and good sense, and her respect for constitutional 
forms. They respected her because of the order and decorum 
maintained at her Court, because of the purity of her domestic 
life. And though she died with the burden of more than 

1 Freeman's Journal. 



1 1 1 j NEW CEN1 

upon ber, if in age long past the usually allotted 

in, the the nation was profound. '1 1 1 « - pomp oi the 

funeral pi on and of the- funeral - 1 iuic and the tributes in 

Parliament; were i lothed writh a ( ertain aii <'i formality, be< aute 

they a ual and prescribed. But there was grief which n<> 

State formality called forth, from the cities and towns and 

villi the people <<t Canada and Australia and India, 

•n the Maorta oi Nen Zealand and from the islands in the 

uthern seas. 1 Ireland alon< I sullenly apart As she 

had in the Jubilee year oi 1SS7 no share in the nation's joy, 
she had now no share in the nation's sorrow. For it was 

reme m bered that the dead Queen cared little for Ireland and 
had no sympathy with Irish popular demands. She regretted 
the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, she disliked the 
various Land Acts, she abhorred Home Rule ; and while she 
was the friend of Disraeli whom Ireland detested, she disliked 
Gladstone whom Ireland loved. 

This refusal to weep when England wept, this continued 
sympathy with Boer victories and continued rejoicing at British 
defeats, did not help Ireland in Parliament, and in 1900 there 
was no mention of Ireland in the Queen's Speech. Nor was 
there in the Royal Speech of the following year, except some 
vague promise that a measure might be introduced u for 
regulating sale by landlords to occupying tenants in Ireland." 2 
Mr. Redmond, however, wanted compulsory purchase, and 
moved an amendment to the Address asking for such. He 
was supported by Mr. T. W. Russell and by many of the 
Liberals, with the result, which was not unhopeful, that 140 
voted with him against 235 on the side of the Government. 3 
Mr. William O'Brien was not so well supported on his motion 
censuring the harsh enforcement of the Coercion Act. 4 Nor 
did this motion check the Irish Executive in its attacks on the 
United Irish League. Public speeches were carefully noted, 
public meetings watched by the police and sometimes broken 
up, and in the years 1901 and 1902 forty- two prominent 

1 Annual Register, pp. 8-20 ; Times, Jan. 23. - Annual Register, p. 24. 

3 Ibid, for 1902, pp. 36-37. 4 Ibid. 38-39. 



TIM [RII II PARI \ IN P MM I \ M \ I 149 

persona were sent t<> prison i<»i political oflen< Eleven of 

these were mciiihci 9 of l\u li.uiirnt, two WtVt «"■: iimmiIm i , 

several others were newspaper editors, and one was i lady — 
the owner of the WaUtford Shi In i()o. y the King's 

Speech was silent about Ireland, .md again Mr. Redmond 
moved an amendment advocating compulsory purchase, and 
condemning tin- enforcement <>f Coercion. The Government 
indeed admitted that there was no serious crime in Ireland, hut 
there were- conspiracies against the payment of rent and there 
was boycotting, and to meet such rases the weapons of Coercion 

had been used. As to compulsory sale, the Chief Secretary 
would have none of it ; but he was willing to promote measures 

for the encouragement of agriculture, industry, and education, 
in the honest belief that such work was good and was worth 
doing. 3 In the division Mr. Redmond was, of course, defeated ; 
but it was satisfactory for him to note that he had the support 
of Sir H. Campbell -Bannerman and Mr. Morley and of 70 
Liberals. Better results than this could not be expected as 
long as the Irish Nationalists continued to shout for the Boer 
leaders at public meetings, and to cheer Boer victories even in 
the House of Commons. These cheers did the Boers no good 
and received from them no recognition, nor did they do 
England any harm. But they outraged English opinion and 
irritated those whom the Irish members, if they wanted anything 
for their country, were bound to persuade. Mr. Dillon rebuked 
such tactless outbursts of impotent disaffection. But harm was 
done nevertheless. 3 Lord Rosebery was angry and vowed he 
would not consent to have a Parliament at Dublin. Mr. 
Asquith was not so emphatic, but his views were substantially 
the same. Even so staunch and tried a friend of Ireland as 
Mr. Morley, while still faithful to Home Rule, deplored " the 
bad feeling and want of decency " of these Irish members who 
laughed and jeered at the capture and humiliation of a British 
General. 4 One noted enemy of Ireland disappeared from the 
scene during the year in the person of Lord Salisbury, who 

1 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 700-701. 2 Annual Register, pp. 27-30. 

3 Ibid, for 1902, p. 86. 4 Ibid. 91-92. 

Vol. Ill 99 



I nil nlw ( i\ rURY 

ned tht- Pi Kip and was Nicceeded l>y Mr. Arthur 

Balfour. And the Irish S cretary brought in a Land Purchase 
BUI, which was nut, however, persevered with, though it met 
with a favoui ption from the lush members. 1 Beyond 

this Ireland's in' In the Parliamentary history of the year 

. and i<ju_ > like 1901 might be regarded «is a barren 
ir. 

At that date the outlook was not bright. The Land 
IftS W€re blocked, and thousands, unable to get their cases 
taken up, weir compelled to pay rents which were too high. In 
spite of the Land Purchase Acts of 1 89 1 and 1896, land 
purchase was proceeding slowly. And meantime the strongest, 
the healthiest, the most enterprising among the young Irish 
peasants were flying from Ireland, leaving the weaker behind. 
The poorhouses were well filled, and in every county, even with 
a diminishing population, the asylums were being enlarged. 
There was discontent and disaffection all over the land. The 
farmer was unable to get his rent fixed, and even when he did 
he had but a lease of fifteen years, at the end of which the rent 
was to be again fixed. And in order to get a still greater 
reduction than formerly he let his land become deteriorated 
as he approached the end of the judicial term. The tenant 
who had not bought his holding, because he and his landlord 
could not agree as to the price, was envious of his neighbour 
who had already become a peasant proprietor, and who, with a 
great reduction in his yearly payments, was becoming the owner 
of his holding. Yet the extreme men belonging to the different 
parties in Ireland had nothing to propose but to continue their 
quarrels. The landlords, unable either to learn or forget, still 
wept over their vanished power, and clinging tenaciously to 
what w r as left to them, refused to sell their properties except at 
a prohibitive price ; and at the least sign of agitation among 
their tenants they raised the old cry for Coercion. The tenants' 
representatives, grudging the landlords anything but the price 
of their tickets to England, wished that agitation should continue. 
As for the Orangemen, even the farmers, they were reluctant 

1 Atmual Register, pp. 102-3. 



i ill-. LAND CONFERENCE I I 

to join hands with their (atholir fell* »w tenant ., .uul readily 

listened to Interested orators who talked <>f the Boyne and 
Aughrim and <>f William of ( h-.m 

But there were moderate men 0J well M e\tp-me men. 

There were landlords like Lord Dunraven who disliked Home 
RuU:, hut disliked I hiblin ( )astle just as mu< h, and w ho, believing 
that land purchase was the only solution of Irish Land questions, 
wished thai it should go on more rapidly. There were tenants' 
representatives who did not wish tor the ruin of the landlords, 
but wanted them to remain In Ireland, having disposed of 
their properties. And there were Orangemen who thronged to 

hear Mr. T. W. Russell and cheered him when he advocated 
compulsory sale. 

Noting all these things, a young Galway landlord, Captain 
Shawc Taylor, in the end of 1902 addressed a letter to repre- 
sentative men of the different parties, inviting them to a 
conference on the Land question — the hope being that by 
mutual concession and compromise a solution might be found. 
By many of the landlords the invitation was coldly received, 
while Mr. Redmond described it as a " white flag " hung out by 
the landlords. But the moderates on both sides asserted 
themselves. Their hands were strengthened by a statement of 
the Chief Secretary that it was impossible for any Government 
to settle the Irish Land question ; it must be settled by the 
parties interested, and then the Government would as far as 
possible give effect to the settlement arrived at. Any such 
settlement necessarily involved holding a conference. It was 
held in the end of December 1902, under the chairmanship of 
Lord Dunraven. The other landlord representatives were Lord 
Mayo, Colonel Poe, and Colonel Everard. The tenants were 
represented by Messrs. Redmond, Harrington, William O'Brien, 
and T. W. Russell ; Captain Shawe Taylor acted as Secretary. 1 
Reason and compromise soon showed themselves in the 
deliberations which followed. Recognizing that the days of 
their ascendancy were over, the landlords agreed that dual 
ownership ought to be abolished, and that until it was there 

1 Annual Register, pp. 247-9. 



nn NEW I km URY 

would lu- no peace In Ireland* The tenants' re pr e se ntative! 
I that the landlord! ought to get <i price for their land 
which would leave them their net second term Income*. This 
could be done by lowering the rate of interest on the purchase 
money, ami by spreading out the payment! over ■ long term of 

This would postpone the day ;tt which the tenant 

would be complete owner of his holding, and it would involve 

ing a higher price, but not necessarily a higher annual 

payment ; and, after all, the immediate reduction with the 

prospect of ultimate ownership was all that the tenant sought. 

It was agreed, further, at the conference that when the 
landlord insisted on a higher price than the tenant was willing 
to give, the State should step in and bridge over the difference 
between the contracting parties. With great advantage the 
State might thus vote even a large sum, for the settlement of 
the Land question would effect a considerable saving in public 
expenditure. The Land Commission Courts and the Land 
Judges Court cost between them annually a sum of more than 
>^300,ooo. 1 In addition to this, an enormous police force was 
maintained chiefly for the purpose of keeping landlords and 
tenants from coming to blows ; and it was notorious that the 
crime and outrage which sometimes stained the annals of the 
country had their origin in agrarian disputes. The recommen- 
dations of the Land Conference were agreed to unanimously, 
and were welcomed by the Government, and in the following 
February a Land Purchase Bill, partly based on these recom- 
mendations, was introduced. 

At that date the Chief Secretary for Ireland was Mr. 
George Wyndham. He was an Englishman and a Tory 
pledged irrevocably against Home Rule, and as such in little 
favour with Irish Nationalists. Their aversion to him was all 
the greater because he had acted as Secretary to Mr. Arthur 
Balfour during the exciting times of the Plan of Campaign 
war, and especially because he was known to be in complete 
sympathy with the views of his chief as to the iniquity of the 
Plan and as to the necessity for putting down its advocates. 
1 Dunraven, The Outlook in Irela?id, p. 62. 



MK. WYNDHAM 45 j 

Worst of all, since he beCARIC Chief Secretary him .'-If, Mr. 
Wyiulhain had put thr ( '< »en ion Act in force and thrown 

many of the popular leaden Into prison. Vet it was difficult 
to dislike him. Genial, warm he a rted, witty and kind, an 
author, a poet, an eloquent speaker, he I • an aristocrat with 

democratic instincts, a man who, in spite of his birth and 

surroundings, feels for the people and is ready to do battle on 

their behalf. On the affections of Irishmen he has special 
claims, for he is the grandson of Pamela PitzGerald, and there- 
fore great-grandson of Cord Edward, one of Ireland's best- 
beloved sons. And Mr. Wyiulhain is proud of his Irish blood, 
and has never concealed his partiality for Ireland, nor his 
desire to do something on her behalf. 1 He viewed the 
assembling of the Land Conference with the greatest sympathy, 
and was well pleased that its proceedings were so harmonious, 
and its conclusions arrived at with unanimity. Nor can there 
be any doubt that he wished to carry out its recommendations 
in their entirety, and would have done so had he been able to 
obtain the consent of his colleagues in the Cabinet. 

His Bill contemplated the total abolition of Irish landlordism 
and the final settlement of the Irish Land question, and for this 
purpose a sum of £100,000,000 was to be advanced by the 
State to enable the tenants to buy. In addition there was to 
be a bonus of £12,000,000 given to the landlords who sold, 
this being an inducement to them to sell. If, therefore, the 
tenant agreed to buy his holding at £100, the landlord received 
£112, the extra amount being the bonus of 12 per cent. The 
Land Conference agreed that the landlord should get such a 
sum as, when invested at 3 per cent, would bring him his net 
income from second term rents, this being calculated at 90 per 
cent of the total. Mr. Wyndham undertook to provide him 
with this, the money to be advanced to the tenant to be re- 
payable in sixty-eight years at 3J per cent. The landlord was 
to be paid not in land stock, but in cash, the cash to be raised by 
a Government flotation of stock, and the loss on flotation, if 
any, to be made good out of the yearly agricultural grant. 
1 Review of Reviews, April 1903. 



1 1 1 1 \ I \ 
lli- Bill provided that, a nit <>i hi-, bargain, judicial 

tenants urn- not t icini rtlltl Ictl than 30 p<i 

t not more tii. in 40 pti cent, ind <"> second term renti not 

less th.UI Id Jul i flit Ilol liioie than |0 DCf <eilt. Tills V 

buying within the tones, and In luch i there was 

no nei i Inspection by the I ion officials. 

Obviously the intention uas t«> avoid delay in transferring the 
land from landlord to tenant, and this was done by the 
omission <>i inspection. And equally plain was the intention 
to 1 the ni ice in the landlord's favour by limiting the 

action given to the tenant, and by lowering the rate of 
interest from 4 per cent to 3^ per cent. The landlord was 
also ^aved the trouble and expense of proving title, for this 
was done by the Estates Commissioners created by the Hill 
when passed. 

Never before had such a favourable reception been given to 
any measure dealing with the thorny subject of Irish land. The 
Irish leader, Mr. John Redmond, described it as "the greatest 
measure of land purchase reform ever seriously offered to the 
Irish people, and that it is intended to contain, and may quite 
easily be made to contain, all the elements of a settlement of 
the Irish agrarian difficulty and the ending of the Irish land 
war, the permanent unity of all classes in Ireland, and the 
laying broad and sure of the foundations of social peace." * 
Mr. T. W. Russell supported it because it represented the 
passing of Irish landlordism, " the beginning of the end of as 
tragic a story as the history of any civilized country presents." 2 
Mr. Dillon saw that the Chief Secretary was desirous of 
signalizing his tenure of office " by solving the question which 
has proved too hard a nut to crack for many of his prede- 
cessors." 3 Mr. William O'Brien spoke in the same strain as 
did Mr. Redmond and Mr. Dillon. Mr. Healy regarded it as 
marking " a reversal of a long period of dismal oppression and 
awful woe, of a breach of treaty faith committed two centuries 
ago, but having to this day left a living effect. This Bill will 
change more than Ireland, it will change England too, and 
1 Hansard, exxi. 1208. 2 Ibid. 1266. 8 Ibid. 1304. 



i in LAND M i 01 ">Q3 

with that change l hope to Me -i brighter light in th< "f 

dark Rosaleen." ' The opposition leaders were not unfriendly, 
.ukI when Mr. Wyndham summed up th<- teoond readii 
debate in a speech of singula! eloquence, .j j | voted with him, 
while only .m> went into the lobby against the Bill. 1 

in the minority were men who were reluctant to pled 

British credit for such men .is the In\h landlords, thou-h the 

plea that Irish tenants might repudiate their bargains was not 

seriously put forth in face of the punctuality with which forme) 
tenant-purchasers had paid their instalments. On the otl 
hand, the tenants' representatives objected to many things in 
the Hill, and in Committee Messrs. Redmond, Dillon, Healy, 
William O'Brien, and T. W. Russell fought hard to have it 
amended. They objected that it did nothing for the evicted 
tenants or for the labourers. They objected to the zones as 
meant to unduly inflate the price of Irish land. They objected 
to give the landlords a 3 per cent security instead of the 
uncertain security even of his second term rents. They 
objected to the abolition of the decadal reductions. They 
objected to have one-fourth of the tenants compelled to buy 
when three -fourths agreed to buy. They objected to the 
omission of inspection, the effect of which would be that 
neither the interests of the tenants nor the State were suffi- 
ciently safeguarded. They objected that non-judicial tenants 
should not have their rents first reduced before negotiating a 
purchase. They objected to have Mr. Wrench, the landlord 
Commissioner, secured in his position, while the other Com- 
missioners, Mr. Bailey and Mr. Finucane, were to hold office 
" during pleasure." 3 And Mr. Russell vehemently protested 
against the proposed rent-charge payable to the State even 
after the sixty -eight years during which the terminable 
annuity was payable. Finally, larger powers, and especially 
compulsory powers for acquiring land, were demanded for the 
Congested Districts Board. 

1 Hansard, exxii. 66. 2 Ibid. 148. 

8 This provision was altered by the Evicted Tenants Act of 1907, under 
which Mr. Bailey and Mr. Finucane were given a judicial tenure. 



1 III \l.\\ ( I N 11 I \ 

ill mgh these objections mrere urged with great ability, Mr. 
\\ | ndham <-n some pointi ivas unyielding, He would do 
I for the labourers, noi would be give compulsory powei i 
to th. i * Board, and he Insisted on not having 

.in) decadal reductions, nor would he abolish the /.ones. But 
he nted to abolish the perpetual rent charge , he admitted 

uon judicial tenants to the benefits of the Hill ; he consented 
to do tomething real for the evicted tenants; and he placed 
all the Estates ( ommissionera beyond the reach of arbitrary 
dismissal. 1 Through all the of the Bill his tact, his 

Care, his patience, his conciliator) manner, his complete mastery 
of all the details of the measure, were beyond all praise, and 
merited encomiums from all quarters of the House. Almost 
with unanimity the third reading was passed. In the Lords 
some minor amendments were inserted, and in part agreed to 
in the House of Commons, and at last the Bill was turned into 
an Act of Parliament." It was not a perfect piece of legisla- 
tion, but it was an enormous advance on anything which had 
preceded it, and was rightly described by Mr. T. W. Russell as 
41 the greatest measure passed for Ireland since the Union." 3 

The landlords had certainly fared well. In most cases 
their estates were mortgaged at a high rate of interest. The 
extinction of these mortgages was calculated to be equal to 
two years' purchase money, the bonus equal to three years, the 
taking over the law costs by the Estates Commission was equal 
to another year. It was an enormous advantage to get cash 
instead of land stock, which within the previous years had 
sunk well below par. And a most advantageous provision for 
the landlord was that he could sell all his estate and then buy 
back his residence and demesne on easy terms. This was 
considered equal to two years' purchase. 4 Seeing, then, on the 
one hand the many inducements the landlord had to sell, and 
on the other the feverish anxiety of the tenant to be done with 

1 Hansard, exxii. exxiii. exxiv. exxv., especially exxv. 1322-9 — Mr. 
Redmond's Speech. 

2 Annual Register, pp. 18 1-2. 3 Hansard, exxv. 1349. 
4 Davitt's Fall of Feudalism, pp. 710-12 ; see copy of the Act. 



THE IRISH LEADER - \m> LAND PI RCHA \ 

landlordism and to become the ownei o( his farm, it irai Litt 
wonder that bargains were quickly ente r ed Into and that land 
pun base proceeded rapidl) 

It proceeded too rapidly for the taste of some ol the 
tenants' representatives. Mr. Dillon, for instance, had alws 
looked askance .it the Land Conference, and thought that Lord 
Dunraven and his friends wei in:, too much. He could 
not sec why land which for the previous twenty years had been 
bought at 17 years' purchase, and often less, could now be 
worth 24 years' purchase^ and oven 27 years 1 purchase, and 
this without adding the bonus and other advantages. These 

latter were calculated to equal 6 years' purchase, so that the 
result of Wyndham's Act was to raise the price of land from 
17 or 18 years' purchase to 30 years' or more. Mr. I)avitt's 
views coincided with those of Mr. Dillon. Mr. Sexton was 
also on the same side, and with his great financial ability had 
no difficulty in proving, in the pages of the Freeman s Journal, 
that the tenants who were buying under Wyndham's Act at 
the extravagant prices ruling were making a bad bargain. 1 
Mr. William O'Brien, on the other hand, had gladly entered 
into the Land Conference and gladly signed its recommenda- 
tions. He welcomed the Act of 1903, and w r anted it carried 
out as rapidly as possible, so that landlordism should disappear. 
He knew well that under former Purchase Acts a lower rate of 
purchase prevailed. But the landlords who sold were those 
who were plunged in financial difficulties and had no option 
but to sell. These needy and embarrassed landlords were now 
sold out, and the landlords who remained were in most cases 
solvent and had no interest in selling unless very tempting 
inducements were held out to them. And Mr. O'Brien did not 
grudge to give them a high price, seeing that the tenants got 
the money at such a low rate of interest that, while giving an 
increased number of years' purchase, there was no corresponding 
increase in the amount of their own terminable annuities. 
Mr. O'Brien, indeed, became so indignant with the Freeman's 
Journal and its friends, that as a protest he resigned his seat in 

1 Davitt, pp. 709-10. 



1 111 1 N I ikv 

Parliament in January 1904 Hut hi-, constituent* at Cork 
wtrt not willing to Iom hii service 1, .Hid they re-elected him, 
thu that they ap p roved ol hia conduct, -is they 

disapproved of those who belittled the land Conference and 
the ition to which it gave rise, N01 did the tenants in 

othei part oi Ireland differ from the Cork men , and in spite 
of the arguments and figures oi the Frttnum's Journal^ bargains 

\y day ; and within the first yeai Ik -in the 
• t Mr. Wyndhain' , Act land was sold aim -until)!.; to 

L 1 5 ,000,000. l The loans sanctioned, it is true, did not 

amount to more than a third of this amount ; but greater 

rapidity was to be expected when the initial difficulties of a 
new department were surmounted ; and the prospect was that 
in a few years the Land question, which had perplexed so many 
statesmen, would be finally settled. 

Hut if compromise and conciliation had in this matter done 
so much, it might surely be tried in other directions, and in 
1903 the landlords of the Land Conference Committee formed 
themselves into the Irish Reform Association. As Unionists 
they would not interfere with the Act of Union, and therefore 
they looked with disfavour on Home Rule. They could not 
indeed deny that Ireland had decayed since the Union, but 
they denied that this decay was a necessary consequence of 
the Union. 2 It was due to unjust taxation imposed on Ireland 
in direct opposition to Union promises and Union engage- 
ments ; to an anomalous system of centralized government, 
which was wasteful and extravagant, taking no account of 
popular representation and popular wishes ; to the fact that the 
English people did not yet appreciate Ireland's needs, and 
that the British Parliament was unable to attend fully to Irish 
business. As a remedy they proposed a devolution to Ireland 
of a larger measure of local government than she possessed. 3 
They wanted to have set up an Irish Financial Council, partly 
elected, partly nominated, the business of which would 

1 Annual Register, p. 240. 

- Lord Dunraven's The Outlook in Ireland, p. 141. 

3 Dunraven, pp. 272-82. 



DIAOI.I l [ON • IF \. M A( I" »\M LL 

be to propose and submit the i innual estimates foi Ireland 
to the British Parliament Given Irish revenue*, i< -<l 

contribution foi imperial purposes, the ( ouncil u ould sup< i 
.Hid control every Item of Irish expenditure; it would 
economies, check extravagance, promote efficiency in Irish 
government In addition it was proposed to have s tatutory 
body made up of Irish peer-, and Irish members of Parliament, 
as wc-11 as members oi the Finani lal Coun< il, this body to li- 
the power of private Bill legislation, and such other po* 
might be delegated to it from time to time by the British Parlia- 
ment Lord Dunraven and his colleagues wanted to see land 
purchase rapidly carried out ; they wanted something done for 

the better housing of labourers ; they wanted the whole sys- 
tem of education to be remodelled ; and they admitted that in 
the matter of higher education the Catholics suffered grave 
injustice. 1 

This was Devolution. It fell far short of Mr. Gladstone's 

Home Rule, but nevertheless aimed at fundamental chancres in 

Irish government, and went far beyond the emphatic negative 

of extreme Unionism. In Ireland its most noted exponent 

was Lord Dunraven. But it had friends in England too. It 

was widely believed that the King, in so far as he could express 

approval of any political association, was in its favour. It was 

well known that he was not unfriendly to Irish popular 

demands, and this accounts for the favourable reception he 

received in Ireland in 1903 and again in 1904. The Irish 

Viceroy, Lord Dudley, was certainly in accord with Lord 

Dunraven, and so was Mr. Balfour, and there could be little 

doubt as to the attitude of Mr. Wyndham. In the end of 

1902 he appointed Sir Antony MacDonnell Under-Secretary 

for Ireland. Sir Antony was an Irish Catholic who had 

greatly distinguished himself in the Indian Civil Service, and 

had just retired after having spent nearly forty years in India. 

To Mr. Wyndham's offer of the Irish post he answered that 

he was " attracted by the chance of doing some good for 

Ireland." But a man who had ruled millions of men in India, 

1 Dunraven, pp. 233-4. 



mi NEW CENT URY 

i nu-inix! ol the Indian ( ouncll, .u:<l might it he 

i Bombay, was not willing to be the 

mere head o( >u\ Iriih department And he told Mr. Wyndham 

that Ik* \\a-> an lush Catholii and a Liberal, and wa-> not }',oing 

de hii religious <>i political convictions, nor could he 
• i mere lecretarial position, it he went to Ireland 
LJn retary, he ihould l>«- Mr. Wyndham'i colleague rather 

than hii iiibordinate ; he should have adequate opportunities 

of inlluen. in . the policy Slid acts of the Irish Administration. 
" In Ireland," he- laid, " my aim would be the maintenance- ol 
order, the solution of the Land question on the basis of 
voluntary sale, the fixing of rents where sales may not take 
plat c on Mjme self-acting principle whereby local inquiries 
would be obviated ; the co-ordination, control, and direction of 
urds and other administrative agencies ; the settlement of 
the Education question in the general spirit of Mr. Balfour's 
views ; and the general promotion of material improvement 
and administrative conciliation." Mr. Wyndham accepted Sir 
Antony's conditions, and so did Mr. Balfour, and one of the 
first results of the new departure in Unionist policy was the 
Land Purchase Act of 1903. 1 

The Orange landlords had no objection to a Purchase Act 
which filled their pockets with hard cash and unduly inflated 
the price of Irish land. But when it was proposed further to 
take counsel with Catholic Bishops and concede their claims in 
the matter of University education, they took instant and 
violent alarm. Long accustomed to monopoly and privilege, 
to domination rather than equality, they wanted no Hercules to 
cleanse the Augean stable of Dublin Castle ; and all through 
1904 their language about Sir Antony MacDonnell was that 
of bitter denunciation. A Papist Under-Secretary, they said, 
in league with Papists, was the ruler of Ireland, and under a 
Conservative Government loyal Orangemen were betrayed. As 
for Lord Dunraven and his colleagues of the Reform Associa- 
tion, they were but Home Rulers in disguise, traitors within 
the fortress ready to throw open the gates to the besiegers. 

1 Dunraven, pp. 288-90. 



Gl NBB \i i i.i < i i' >N 01 ' V" 

On the platform and In the press, In speeches and In writing, 

in resolutions and leading arti< le., the paity «>! 

indulged alternately in lamentation and drhan< Mr. 

Wyndhain's COUragC failed Kim, and wishing tO allay the itonn 

he was careful to announce that he disapproved of Lord 
Dunraven's programme. 1 Mr, Balfour was equally icared by 

the roll of the Orange drum, and hastened to find refuge In 

denial and retreat. Hut Sir Antony Mac I)onnell remained 
unmoved. lie is a man who has never known fear, and he 

had Drummond's contempt for Orange Insolence and Orange 

bigotry, for Orange threats and Orange bravado, knowing well 
that Orange courage was no better than that of Bob Acres. 
I lis resignation would have eased the situation for Mr. 
Wyndham, and would, no doubt, have been welcomed by Mr. 
Balfour. But Sir Antony had in no way violated the 
conditions under which he took office, and was in no humour 
to surrender to unreasoning clamour. In these circumstances 
Mr. Wyndham resolved to efface himself, and early in 1905 
resigned the office of Chief Secretary. 2 His successor was Mr. 
Walter Long, a man who knew little about Ireland, but was 
well known to have no sympathy with devolution or indeed 
with any reform. He was therefore welcomed as a friend of 
reactionary landlords and Orange lodges, and continued to 
hold office to the end of the existing Parliament. 

Then came the General Election of 1906. The Unionists 
had then spent nearly twenty years in office. Home Rule was 
responsible for their victory of 1886, Liberal divisions for that 
of 1895, and in 1900 they had triumphed because the country 
believed the war was over. But it continued for two years 
more, and involved the loss of many thousands of lives and 
the expenditure of £250,000,000, and the conquered territory 
was filled with ruined townships and blackened farm-houses, 
with the wailing of widows and orphans, and the muttered 
curses against England of beaten and disaffected Boers. 
Many now thought that these horrors might have been avoided, 
and even President Kruger's obstinacy overcome, if Mr. 
1 Annual Register, pp. 242-3. 2 Review of Reviews, March 1905. 



Tin. M w CENT! RY 

Chaml had been less imperious and .<• And 

it was iii. duty before going to war to see that the 
British Empii prepared v< t ■ Royal Commission found 

in An w t i that the Government was hopelessly un- 

pared wrhen war bi ut The Generals sent to Africa 

definite instructions, the ammunition supplied was 
the rifles unsuitable, the uniforms of the wrong colour, 
.Hid mishaps which oo urred showed plainly 
that the Generals selected were not equal to their commands. 1 
Atthecritic.il moment Mr. Chamberlain turned public atten- 
tion from these things by resigning his seat in the Cabinet 
in September 1903, the better to advocate Tariff Reform. 
Maintaining that Free Trade was a mistake, he proposed that 
taxes should be imposed on foreign imported manufactures, and 
that corn and bacon should be taxed ; while, as a result of 
closer commercial relations with the Colonies, colonial imports 
might be admitted as heretofore. 2 But the English voter 
wanted cheap food and would have neither protective taxation 
nor preferential tariffs, and the Liberal leaders took the field 
against Mr. Chamberlain. A good section of the Unionists, 
under the Duke of Devonshire, clung to Free Trade, and 
founded the Free Food League. 3 All through 1904 and 1905 
the battle was waged. Other matters which militated against 
the Government were their Licensing Bill, giving compensation 
for licences extinguished, 4 and the admission of Chinese to 
work in the Transvaal mines. 5 The tide turned early in 1904 
and continued at all the by-elections of that and the following 
year; and when the General Election came, in January 1906, 
the Unionists were overwhelmed. Counting Tories and 
Liberal Unionists, only 158 of them were returned, Mr. 
Balfour himself being among those who fell on the field of 
battle. 

In Ireland there was rejoicing. West Belfast had been 
captured from the Tories, and shortly after the General Election 
both Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Healy, who had been outside the 

1 Annual Register, pp. 189-91. 2 Ibid, for 1903, pp. 197-200, 206-12. 

3 Ibid. 228-9. 4 Ibid, for 1904, p. 188. 5 Ibid. 47. 






THE i.H'.i i: 1LS IN OFFI< E 

party, came back to the fold, and henceforth ih< - whole 
Nationalist strength of 83 members was at tin Ice ol 

Ireland. It was matter for congratulation also thai the n< 
Premier was Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, .1 man who had 
never wavered in his Home Rule conviction . And there wi 
such staunch Home Rulers in the new Cabinet as Mr. Morley, 
Mr. Lloyd-George, Mr. Bryce, Mr. Birr ell, and I «ords Tweedmouth 
and Loreburn. On the other hand the Liberal [mperiali 
wore largely represented Sir Edward Grey was made Ford 

Secretary, Mr. Haldane Secretary for War, Mr. Asquith 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Cabinet offices were also 
given to Sir Henry Fowler and Lord Crewe. All these were 
politicians of the type of Lord Rosebery, and cared little for 
Home Rule. The new Lord-Lieutenant was Lord Aberdeen, 
so favourably known already in Ireland. The new Chief 
Secretary was Mr. Bryce, a great scholar, a great linguist, a 
great traveller, an author of repute, an expert on questions of 
constitutional law, and thoroughly sound on the question of 
Home Rule. For the moment, however, this latter question 
had receded into the background. It had not been made an 
issue at the General Election, and therefore all hope of having 
a Home Rule Bill introduced in the immediate future must be 
abandoned. For the Irish Nationalists, even with the aid of 
the Unionists, were powerless against the enormous numbers 
on the Liberal side. But there were other Irish questions 
claiming urgent attention. There was, for instance, a difficulty 
in financing sales under Wyndham's Act, and there were the 
questions of congestion, of the evicted tenants, and of University 
education. Nothing was done, however, in the session of 
1906, and early in 1 907 Mr. Bryce left Ireland to take up the 
position of British Ambassador at Washington. 

In 1904 Mr. Stead suggested that Mr. T. W. Russell 
should be appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1 and in 1907 
he would have been an admirable selection. Mr. Russell is a 
Scotchman born, but has lived since his boyhood in Ireland, 
and, like many others who have come over, he has become 
1 Review of Reviews, February 1904. 



i 111 NEW i i\'i URY 

than tiu in l themselvi Not born In the 

purple, I' hi not had i I Diversity training, Imt has instead 

ited in the universit) ol the world. Gifted with great 

natural ability he has ilwaj been fond ol books, and by 

industry, perseverance, sobriety, and thrift has been able to 

.< .itc himself and win his way to position and influence. As 

cretar) to the Irish Temperance Association, he had foi 

many > I .u to exercise largely \)(>\\\ his VOice and pen, and 

with such effect that when h<~- entered Parliament in 1X85 he 

.en then a nady and powerful debater. In the years 

following he was often heard <^n public questions in Parliament, 

on the platform, and in the pages of reviews. He was then a 
Liberal-Unionist, and in Lord Salisbury's Government of 1895 
vs. is given the- < ft "ice of Secretary to the Local Government 
Board Hut Mr. Russell is not a mere time-server, and in 
spite of Lord Salisbury's frowns he championed Ulster tenants 
against Ulster landlords, and in consequence was deprived of 
office in 1900. After that date he continued to advocate 
compulsory sale. He had a large share in the Land Conference 
and in Wyndham's Act ; he favoured the grant of a Catholic 
University, the reinstatement of the evicted tenants, and better 
houses for labourers ; and he grew to dislike more and more 
the bureaucratic government of Dublin Castle. While retain- 
ing the grit and tenacity of the Scotchman, Mr. Russell has 
acquired the Irishman's warmth of heart and kindly nature. 
His eye kindles as he denounces Irish landlord iniquity, and 
his voice grows husky as he talks of the struggling artisan or 
labourer in his humble cottage, or of the rack-rented tenant 
driven from his fields. By 1907 Mr. Russell had grown to be 
one of the most powerful men on the Liberal side of the House 
of Commons, one of the greatest Parliamentarians of his time. 
His great talents, his courage, his resource, his thorough 
knowledge of Ireland and her needs, eminently fitted him for 
the post of Chief Secretary. But he had to be satisfied with 
the lesser position of Vice-President of the Agricultural Board 
in succession to Sir Horace Plunkett, while the higher position 
of Chief Secretary fell to an Englishman, Mr. Birrell. 



mk. BIRR] i-i. 

Until he became a Cabinet Miniate! Ill it>'\ Mi I'.im-ll 
was best known as an author. Then ll un-ly no finer 
specimen ol 1 1 i ; . 1 1 class literary gossip than his delightful 
essaj Passing rapidly from Milton and John-. on to ( arrylc 

and Matthew Arnold, from Swifl and Bolingbroke to I )<• 

Quincey and Newman, and bai k again to Richard on and Pope 
and Burke, he seems familiar with everything written by the 
authors, and indeed with everything written by the great 
masters In English literature, Without a trace of pedantry, 
we can see thai his knowledge Is encyclopaedic, thai lie has 

not only read, but read with care, that his literary judg m e n ts, 
though not pretending to profundity, arc never arbitrary, and 
will survive tin* assaults of even seasoned critics, and that from 
the first page to the last there is not a dull line. Incidentally 
we learn that he is a Nonconformist and does not like the 
Catholic Church, though he has unbounded admiration for 
Newman. Besides being a literary man of eminence, Mr. 
Birrell was also a lawyer of experience, and he had also made 
some brilliant speeches both on the platform and in Parliament. 
But as to his being a successful minister, Mr. Stead, in 1906, 
regarded him as " the darkest of dark horses." It soon 
appeared that the dark horse could go far, that the literary 
man and lawyer was a statesman as well ; and in 1906 his 
conduct of the English Education Bill was beyond all praise. 
That it did not become an Act was due to the House of Lords 
and not to him, and such was the ability he showed that the 
Premier selected him to succeed Mr. Bryce. 

His new position, the grave of many reputations, must have 
been accepted by him with misgiving, for the difficulties which 
confronted him were many. The Town Tenants Act passed 
in 1 906 was but a small measure and did not satisfy the town 
tenants, because it did not sufficiently safeguard their interests. 
The evicted tenants and the labourers clamoured for legislation. 
Dublin Castle and all it represented in Irish Government still 
remained. The University question remained unsettled. The 
land sales effected under Wyndham's Act of 1903 were not yet 
1 BirrelVs Essays, London, 1899, 2 vols. 

Vol. Ill 100 



mi HEW < BNTUR1 

for the landlord could not get hit money nor 
t J * !.uit his land rhe Congested Districts Board had done 
much to help local Industries, and to erect piers, and harbours, 
and fishing itations along the coast; but .<> far it had merely 
nibbled it tin- big and complex problem of migration In the 
West. Nor aras it easy for an) Board or any official to solve 
an> mch problem and at the tame tunc satisfy public opinion, 
Ing the- atta< k that was made in Parliament in [907 on Mr. 
Commissioner Bailey. Under the Land Purchase Act of 1903, 
Mi. Wrench iras Intended to represent the landlords 1 interest, 
and in this respect he had never been remiss. Mr. Finucane 
iras expected to regard land transactions from the tenants' 
point of view. The third Commissioner, Mr. Bailey, was 
expected to hold the balance between the two. In reality he 
had been appointed originally as an Assistant Land Com- 
missioner by the Tories, and could not be said at any time to 
be unduly severe on the landlords in his decisions. Modest, 
retiring, and unassuming, he is a man of enormous ability, with 
a hue judicial mind, a perfect master of all the intricacies of 
Irish land legislation, a man whose capacity and zeal in the 
public service only a bitter partisan could call in question. 
The Report he wrote on the happy results of land purchase 
previous to 1903 is a most valuable State document, in which 
he carefully points out the punctuality with which the tenants 
paid their annuities, the improvements they effected on their 
lands by way of fencing, draining, building, and tillage, the 
sobriety and thrift which followed extravagance and want of 
care for the morrow. 1 This Report was of material assistance 
to Mr. Wyndham, and ensured Mr. Bailey's promotion under 
Mr. Wyndham's Act. Since then Mr. Bailey had been careful 
in all land sales to see that the tenant did not agree to terms 
which would have been ruinous for himself and for the State, 
and he had done nothing more. But this was not enough for 
unreasoning landlords and their unreasoning friends, and Mr. 

1 u Report of Mr. W. F. Bailey of an Inquiry into the Present Condi- 
tion of Tenant Purchasers under the Land Purchase Acts " (ordered by 
the House of Commons to be printed, 25th March 1903). 






rHE SINN FEIN] i'»/ 

Moore, M. iv, an Ulster representative, attacked Mi Bailey In 
Parliament The latter was ably defended by Ms friend, Mr 
r W, Russell, who wai able to produce some letters written by 
Mr. Moore, in which that gentleman reminded Mr, Bailey thai 
he owed his appointment to the Tories, and iii.it he had failed 

to do the landlords' urn k,.nul thrrrf. .re uh<n the Torfa gOl bl 
|0 Office the)' would know how to mail, their di appiohation < A 

in- conduct In other words, the)- had already mailed out 

Mr. Bailey tor vengeance Mr Birrell, who agreed with Mr. 

Russell in condemning Mr. Moore and in defending Mr. Bailey, 
had thus early in his official career as ( hief Secretary an 

opportunity <,A~ appreciating the character of Irish landlordism 

in its extreme form, and how great were the difficulties of 

Satisfying its insatiable demands. 1 

Nor was this all. The Irish Nationalists themselves were 
not in agreement Mr. Dillon objected to have the loss 
involved in the flotation of Irish land stock thrown on Irish 
revenue, and he would prefer to see the tenants wait rather 
than enter into the ruinous bargains they were making with 
these landlords ; and the great majority of the Irish party- 
agreed with Mr. Dillon. Mr. O'Brien was in a greater hurry 
to end the land war, and wanted to see the tenants purchase 
even though the price paid was high. Both agreed that there 
was need for fresh land legislation. Mr. Dillon would have 
this brought about by threatening the landlords with a renewal 
of agitation. Mr. O'Brien's plan was to confer with the land- 
lords as in 1903, for no Government could reject a united 
demand, and the House of Lords would be sure to yield. 
These differences gave strength to those who had no faith in 
Parliamentary action, and in 1905 the Sinn Fein party was 
formed. As its name implies — for Sinn Fein is Irish for Our- 
selves — it aimed at National Independence, believing that the 
British Government was Ireland's greatest enemy, and that the 
British Parliament had no right to legislate for Ireland, having 
formally renounced such a right in 1783. Inculcating national 
self-reliance and self-respect, the Sinn Feiners would have Irish 

1 Annual Register. 



I 1 1 \ M 

ry < ollege and - 1 hool, the Irish Ian 

i< v Ivcd, the people < onsume 

I drink and toha« i o, and laVOUl lull manufactures rather 
than thote which came from England 01 abroad. As for the 

Irish memben o4 Parliament! they could! with delegates from 

the Coiinty aiul other Couim ll ,, lit in Dublin H a National 

I null, whose businesi it would be "to take within its purview 

m <>! Nation. il interest*" The Council could not 

hut it could pass i olutions which would he adopted 

i a ted upon by the local Councils and obeyed throughout 

the land. It is not easy to see how this policy could be 
ried out successfully in a country where there are, and 
always have been, so many divisions, and in spite of the 
opposition of a great Empire, Hut it had been done in 
Hungary, and many thought it could be done in Ireland, and in 
consequence the Sinn Feiners grew strong, 1 and in 1907 were 
ource of uneasiness and alarm to the Irish Party. They 
added also to Mr. Birrell's difficulties, as did in a much greater 
ree those tenants who lived in congested districts and were 
crying out for more and better land. In 1906 a Royal 
Commission had been appointed to investigate the condition of 
the congested districts, the working of the Congested Districts 
Board, and its relations with the Estates Commission and the 
Agricultural Department, and what changes, if any, in the 
functions of these various bodies ought to be made. Voluminous 
evidence was taken all through 1907, and not until 1908 was 
the Report of the Commission issued. But meantime the 
impatient farmers would not be restrained, and knowing of old 
that the best way to change a law in Ireland is to break it, 
they made war on the graziers by driving the cattle and sheep 
off the grazing farms. The landlords howled for coercion, the 
Irish members called for land legislation. But Mr. Birrell 
would have no coercion, satisfied that the ordinary law was 
sufficient ; and he would have no Land Bill until he had the 
Congested Commission Report. In the interval he bethought 
himself of Sir Antony MacDonnell's programme of a " co- 
1 Irish Y ear-Book for 1909, pp. 356-9. 






Dt BLIN I ISTLE <.<>\ | RNM1 m 

ordination, control, tnd di r ecti on <>i Botuds and other admin- 
istrative agencies," 1 and in the session of i <,<>;• he brought in 
ln's Ii Ish ( tMiiH ii-, Bill. 

This was Lord Dunraven's policy "f Devolution) and wM§ t 
of course, an attack on Dublin Castle Noi could any d< 
be made of that ancient institution. A den of infamy, ;i -ink 
of corruption, the nurse <»t" traitors, the refuse of renc 

were but .1 Few Of the terms which Irishmen have angrily 
hissed OUt at the very mention of Dublin Castle. Within its 

grimy walls what plots have been hatched against Irish liberty, 

what dark deeds have been done, what wicked men have 

ruled ! The kidnapped chiefs of Tyrconnell and Tyrone were 

prisoners in its keep ; the Cromwcllians held counsel there 
when they were driving the Irish into slavery ; and Castlereagh 
and Clare when they were goading the men of 1798 into 
rebellion. From its doors honesty and public spirit were 
driven ; within its walls virtue died ; and while it welcomed 
the spy and the informer, it sent the patriot to the scaffold. 
Not in Europe is there a system of Government like that 
controlled and directed by Dublin Castle. A number of un- 
representative Boards, usually inefficient, and manned by chiefs 
who care nothing for Ireland — this is Irish administration. 
The Chief Secretary controls everything — police, magistrates, 
law officers, prisons, lunatics, land, education, local government. 
He is head of all these Boards, which so often overlap and 
collide, and Mr. Birrell recently declared that as President of 
one Department he was constantly in conflict with himself as 
President of another Department. 2 Usually the Chief Secretary 
is an Englishman and knows nothing of Ireland. The Under- 
Secretary, who does, is a permanent official, and has enormous 
power. As Mr. O'Brien puts it, he is " the man at the wheel," 3 
controlling everything from the rural policeman to the Inspector- 
General, from the Court bailiff to the Attorney-General. A 
strong man like Drummond can do much good or he can do 
much harm, and usually the Under-Secretary is an enemy of 

1 Dunraven, p. 289. 2 Barry O'Brien's Dublin Castle, p. 24. 

3 P. 33- 



47° THE M w < I NTURY 

i'« pic And benotthc 1 astle opposed every reform from 
Emancipation to I iblishment, from the Commutation ot 

l it I .ami Ac t. 1 

It w.i, to reform thii system of go v e r nment, which was a 
itative Institutions, an anachronism in the 
twentieth century, that Mr. Birrell brought In Ins Irish Councils 
Hill, lie- proposed to set up an Irish Council of 107 memfo 

1 and 23 nominated, one of the latter being the 
Under-Secretary. The elected members would sit in many 
for Parliamentary divisions, be elected by Parliamentary 
voters, and sit for three years. As an administrative but not 
a legislative body, they would take over the powers of the 
National and Intermediate Boards, the Local Government 
Board, reformatories and industrial schools, the Congested 
Districts and Agricultural Boards, and also some minor 
departments, such as the National Library and Royal Academy 
of Music ; and they would have for all these purposes an 
income of nearly four millions and a quarter. Their resolutions 
would not be effective till approved by the Lord-Lieutenant, 
who might impose his veto and in some cases substitute 
resolutions of his own. 2 It was said that the Bill owed its 
origin to Sir Antony MacDonnell, and that in its first shape 
all the members were nominated with Sir Antony himself 
presiding. Ireland would thus have, said one critic, an Indian 
Council with an Indian satrap in the chair. Mr. Birrell 
showed no great enthusiasm for these proposals, which were 
certainly meagre and grudging. The Irish leaders, Mr. 
Redmond and Mr. Dillon, while in vain pressing for a larger 
measure, did not reject the one offered. But a National 
Convention in Dublin in May rejected it with scorn, and the 
Bill was accordingly dropped. And yet thoughtful men may 
ask was this action wise ? The Bill was not offered as Home 
Rule, or as a substitute for it ; it would probably have been 
amended, and with these amendments would have worked well. 
The County and District Councils, set up by the Act of 1898, 
had on the whole satisfactorily discharged their duties ; and if 

1 O'Brien, p. 101. - Copy of the Bill. 



1)1 \'l II I >! Ml:. I>.\\ I II 1/ i 

the National Council w. 1 1 equally u< < .in!, iti powen would 

bfi certainly enlarged -^^\ its income iiK leased, until at l;i 

perhaps Home Rule would be reached The Convention! 
however, did not think the Bill worth takini The result b 
been that no better Bill has >iix<- been introduced, and in 

March [908 Mr. As* juit li and Mr. Birrell, Speaking I'" the 

Liberal Government, would give no promise that Home Rule 
would be a living issue at the next General E&lection. 

At the Convention a resolution was passed expressing regret 

at the death of Mi. Michael Davitt. lie died in the summ- r 

of 1906. Fenian, Land Leaguer, labour leader, newspaper 

writer, popular orator and member of Parliament, his had 

been a stormy and eventful career. The peasant's son who 
had lost his right arm as a boy, and thus maimed had to 
earn a living in a strange land, and who amid these difficulties 
had educated himself, until he was a fluent speaker and could 
write articles in ln'^li-class reviews, was no common man. Like 
many self-made men, he was often arrogant and dogmatic, and 
on the Lducation question, which he imperfectly understood, his 
attitude. and language towards the Bishops of his own Church 
were often offensive. But there could be no doubt about his 
honesty and earnestness ; and the patience with which he bore 
sufferings in prison which would have broken another's spirit 
was not more remarkable than the generosity with which he 
forgave his foes. He lies buried in his own native Straide, 
under the shadow of a ruined Dominican Abbey. Nearly 
sixty years before he had been driven forth from the peaceful 
valley where he had played with childish glee. He had struck 
back with effect in his manhood, and as the shades of night 
thickened round him he had the satisfaction of knowing that 
Irish landlordism was doomed. It was Davitt's work in this 
direction which was best appreciated, and which caused his 
death to be so much regretted by the Irish race throughout 
the world. 

In the summer and autumn of 1907 the Congested Board 
Commission continued its sittings, and evidence was supplied 
1 Freeman s Journal, March 31, 1908. 



l in- NEW CENTURY 

in plenty th.it it people arete to live by the land congestion 
must be relieved Nor were the poorei districts in the extfetne 
west the onl) ones which cried out foi legislation. Away to 
the ea i, f>> the banks ol the Shannon, within sight of historic 
Clanmacnoise, lies the parish of Moore. It. parish priest, the 
iu-\ l' J Reidy, bad to tell the Commissioners that 300 out 
ol the 400 tenants in bis parish were valued at less than ^io 

i. ami 100 at less than £$. And within the parish 
were tu<> men holding between them 4000 acres of land OVCI 
which cattle and sheep roamed, and not an acre were they 
willing to give the tenants. In such circumstances it was 
difficult to keep the people in restraint, and in many districts 
Cattle-driving went on. It was, of course, a milder form of 
lawlessness than the agrarian crimes of other days, but it was 
nevertheless a violation of law, and if Sir Antony MacDonnell 
had had his way he would have given the cattle-drivers short 
shrift. Mr. T. W. Russell favoured milder measures. At 
Athenry in Galway a large farm belonging to the Agricultural 
Department was coveted by the landless townsmen ; a house 
was burned, the meadows spiked, and threats uttered that the 
Department would be driven out of the district. Mr. Russell 
came from Dublin and talked to the people and their priest, 
and found that while the townsmen could get neither milk nor 
vegetables because of the want of land, there was a large 
grazing farm just outside the ruined walls of the historic little 
town. Using his influence, he had the town bought out and 
the grazing farm divided among the townsmen, and then peace 
succeeded war. Mr. Birrell was not in a position to adopt 
Mr. Russell's policy in other districts. But he evidently pre- 
ferred it to the Under-Secretary's, and instead of coercion 
resolved to rely on the ordinary law. Further, he was able 
in the session of 1907 to have an Evicted Tenants Bill passed, 
and he only waited for the Report of the Congested Commission 
to have an amending Land Bill introduced. 

So far Mr. Birrell could not boast of his legislative record, 
for he had failed to pass the English Education Bill of 1906 
and the Irish Councils Bill of the following year. But in 



Mi: BIRRBLL I I MIVI RSI I \ BILL 

[908 he succeeded In passing the Irish Universities BilL So 
other problem had been found so difficult ol solution by 
English statesmen as tin's of higher education In inland, it 
had baffled Peel .um\ Gladstone, it had nol been solved by the 
establishment of the Royal University, and it had daunted Mr, 
Balfour, who had often freely admitted thai something should 
l>r done. 1 The abolition of religious tests in Trinity College 
.is far back as [873 left that Institution still Protestant it. 
Provost was still a Protestant clergyman ; within its wall 
a Protestant Divinity School and a Protestant place of worship; 
the whole atmosphere of the place was redolent of Protestanti im, 

and of its 1000 Students only TOO were Catholics." The 

Queen's College, Belfast, had developed into a Presbyterian 

University College, and the Colleges of Cork and Galway weie 
but godless colleges. Catholics might indeed get degrees 
from the Royal University by passing an examination ; but 
they were denied the higher intellectual training, the continued 
contact with men of learning, the friendly rivalries of the 
class-room and the cricket field, the cultured intercourse 
inseparable from real University life. To discover a remedy 
for this state of things a Viceregal Commission, under the 
presidency of Lord Robertson, was appointed in 1901, and 
furnished its Report in 1903. As Trinity College was not 
included in the scope of the inquiry, the Commissioners had no 
recommendations to make in its regard. They recommended, 
however, tha